CureVac NV shares jumped higher Monday after the German drugmaker said its experimental coronavirus vaccine candidate induced an immune response in early stage trials.
CureVac, which is based in the southern German city of Tubingen, said its messenger RNA vaccine, known as 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.
CureVac said no related serious adverse effects from dosages of the vaccine candidate were observed during the Belgium-based trial, while fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain induced at the 12 microgram level were "transient and resolved rapidly, usually within 24 to 48 hours."
The group said it plans more extensive testing later this year.
"We are very encouraged by the interim Phase 1 data. It represents a critical milestone in our COVID-19 vaccine program and strongly supports the advancement of our vaccine candidate," said CureVac CEO Dr. Franz-Werner Haas. "Following further data readouts and discussion with regulatory authorities, we remain fully committed and on track to initiate a pivotal Phase 2b/3 trial before the end of 2020."
CureVac's U.S.-listed shares, which trade on the Nasdaq, were marked 6.5% higher in pre-market trading Monday to indicate an opening bell price of $51.93 each.
CureVac is one of the scores of companies around the world racing to deliver and effective coronavirus vaccine. In fact, according to the Vaccine Centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, there are more than 200 vaccine candidates currently in development, with Phase 3 trials underway, or imminent, for 9 possible candidates across three different platforms.
Data from Johns Hopkins University indicates that more than 1.2 million people have died from COVID-19 since it was first identified in January, while global cases rising at more than 500,000 each day.