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CureVac Covid Vaccine Candidate Shows Progress in Animal Trial

CureVac says its covid vaccine candidate provided full protection of the lungs in animal testing.
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CureVac (CVAC) - Get CureVac N.V. Report shares were lower on Monday even as the German biopharma reported progress in animal testing of its coronavirus vaccine candidate. 

The company, which is developing an mRNA vaccine to combat covid, unveiled data showing "robust" antibody and T-cell responses to its vaccine candidate in rhesus macaques. 

"Full protection of the lungs of vaccinated animals supports CVnCoV's potential in protecting humans from the devastating effects the virus has," said Mariola Fotin-Mleczek, chief technology officer of CureVac. 

"We are very encouraged to see that CVnCoV exhibits its protective efficacy already at a low dose, which is even lower than the dose we advanced into late-stage human clinical testing."

Chief Executive Fran-Werner Haas told Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper that the company expected to receive clearance for its covid-19 vaccine by the beginning of the second quarter. 

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Shares of the company at last check were down 5.1% to $102.11. The stock pulled back from the gains it saw last week following news of a covid-19 partnership with Bayer AG  (BAYRY) - Get Bayer AG ADR Report.

Bayer will support the supply and development of CureVac's messenger-RNA vaccine in areas such as clinical operations, regulatory affairs and supply chains, the company said. The arrangement appeared similar to that established between Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report.

CureVac's U.S.-listed shares, which trade on Nasdaq, jumped nearly 20% on the news last week. 

CureVac said in November that CVnCoV triggered antibody development in 250 human volunteers between the ages of 18 and 60 on a level similar to that of patients recovering from covid-19. 

The biotech group, based in the southern German city of Tubingen, launched a late-stage global trial in mid-December.