GSK, Curevac to develop vaccine for Covid-19 variants
GlaxoSmithKline and CureVac on Wednesday announced a new venture to develop a vaccine targeting emerging variants of Covid-19 in one jab.
The development programme will begin immediately, with the target of introducing the vaccine in 2022, subject to regulatory approval, the duo said in a joint statement.
GSK added that it would also support the manufacture of up to 100m doses of CureVac's first generation Covid-19 vaccine candidate CVnCoV in 2021.
"The increase in emerging variants with the potential to reduce the efficacy of first generation Covid-19 vaccines requires acceleration of efforts to develop vaccines against new variants to keep one step ahead of the pandemic." they added.
"These next generation Covid-19 vaccines may either be used to protect people who have not been vaccinated before, or to serve as boosters in the event that Covid-19 immunity gained from an initial vaccination reduces over time. In addition, the collaboration will assess the development of novel mRNA vaccines to protect against multiple respiratory viruses, including Covid-19."
As part of the new collaboration, Britain's GSK will also support manufacture of CureVac's first-generation Covid-19 vaccine candidate CVnCoV which is currently in Phase 2b/3 trials. GSK aims to make 100m doses this using its manufacturing network in Belgium.
GSK will make an upfront payment of €75m and a further €75m to Germany-based Curevac for the new vaccine, conditional on the achievement of specific milestones.
It will also be the marketing authorisation holder for the next generation jab, except in Switzerland, and will have exclusive rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialise the next generation Covid-19 vaccine in all countries except Germany, Austria and Switzerland.