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CureVac Shares Leap On COVID Vaccine Pact With GlaxoSmithKline

German drugmaker CureVac will team with pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline to develop a new m-RNA coronavirus vaccine candidate.

CureVac BV  (CVAC) - Get CureVac N.V. Report shares leaped higher Wednesday after the German drugmaker agreed to develop next-generation COVID vaccines with GlaxoSmithKline  (GSK) - Get GSK plc American Depositary Shares (Each representing two) Report.

CureVac and its larger rival will use messenger RNA techniques, similar to those used by Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna Inc. Report, to deveop a multi-variant vaccine candidate that the pair hope will be available next year. 

GlaxoSmithKline, which took a 10% stake in CureVac last year, also said it would support the manufacturing of CureVac's first messenger-RNA vaccine, known as CVnCoV, which the drugmaker said in November 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.

"We are very pleased to build on our existing relationship with GSK with a new agreement to jointly develop next generation mRNA-based vaccines, in addition to our current candidate CVnCoV," said CureVac CEO Franz-Werner Haas. "With the help of GSK's proven vaccine expertise, we are equipping ourselves to tackle future health challenges with novel vaccines."  

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CureVac's U.S.-listed shares, which trade on the Nasdaq, were marked 8.3% higher in early dealing Wednesday to change hands at $106.45 each. The shares were trading under $2 in early August.

GlaxoSmithKline shares, meanwhile, slumped 5% to $35.70 each after it cautioned that 2021 earnings would fall by as much as a high-digit percentage from last year as the coronavirus pandemic disruption to its traditional vaccines business -- the largest in the world -- continues to hit sales.  

Last month, CureVac reached a collaboration and services agreement with pharma giant Bayer AG  (BAYRY) - Get Bayer AG ADR Report to accelerate the development of its vaccine program, focusing on areas such as clinical operations, regulatory affairs an supply chains.