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CureVac Slides After COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Just 48%

Results from a study of CureVac's COVID-19 vaccine found it to be just 48% effective against the virus.

Shares of CureVac  (CVAC)  fell sharply in premarket trading Thursday after results from a study of the German company’s COVID-19 vaccine found it to be just 48% effective overall against the virus, far less than vaccines already being used in the United States.

The efficacy rate came in slightly higher than a preliminary reading that was released earlier this month. But the 48% effectiveness falls well short of the mid-90% rates found in both clinical trial and real-world studies of those produced by Pfizer  (PFE)  and Moderna  (MRNA) .

The latest results likely mean that CureVac's vaccine won't reach thresholds for approval from either the Food and Drug Administration or European health officials. 

CureVac said the vaccine was 77% effective against moderate and severe disease across adult trial participants up to 60 years old. Results weren't released for those over age 60.

Zhiqiang Shu, an analyst with Berenberg Capital Markets, said in a note that the results might be good enough for CureVac to gain approval in Europe for adults up to age 60, Bloomberg reported.

Earlier this year, CureVac, the biotech company based in the southern German city of Tubingen, unveiled a partnership with U.K.-based drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline  (GSK)  to develop next-generation COVID vaccines, and had hoped to produce as many as a billion doses in 2022.

CureVac went public last summer with a listing on the Nasdaq.

Shares of CureVac were down nearly 13% in premarket trading on Thursday to $64.03. The stock has fallen more than 9% so far in 2021.

Moderna, meanwhile, saw its shares jump to an all-time high earlier this week after the pharmaceutical company said its COVID-19 vaccine showed promise in protecting against variants of the disease, including the highly contagious Delta variant that is currently surging in India and other countries.