October 1, 2022

CureVac Shares Plunge Premarket on Disappointing Covid-19 Vaccine Trial

Shares in Germany’s


CVAC -3.47%

NV fell by almost half in premarket trading, pointing to hefty losses for investors when the market reopens, after the pharmaceutical company reported disappointing results from a study of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine.

Nasdaq-listed CureVac said late Wednesday that its vaccine was 47% effective against the disease in an interim analysis of a large clinical trial, a disappointing outcome likely to dim the shot’s prospects for wider use.

For its main listing in the U.S., shares were down 45% in off-hours trading. Shares in the company listed in Frankfurt traded 43% lower Thursday.

The setback could hinder vaccination campaigns in Europe because the German company has a contract with the European Commission to supply up to 405 million doses, one of the bloc’s largest contracts with a single company. CureVac has struck partnerships with big pharmaceutical companies


GSK 0.22%

PLC and

Novartis AG

NVS -0.13%

to help make doses.

CureVac was once considered to be among the most hopeful candidates to develop a successful Covid-19 vaccine. It obtained support from the German government, which holds a stake of approximately 16% in the company, and the business was listed in the U.S. in August last year. The company had a market valuation of $18.29 billion by the market’s close on Wednesday.

Its stock price had already fallen in recent days because of mounting doubts surrounding the trial and the company’s ability to file for authorization for its vaccine in Europe in the second quarter as planned.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a four-week extension to the country’s Covid-19 restrictions Monday as the country deals with an increase in Delta variant infections. WSJ’s Jason Douglas explains what that could mean for the global effort to contain the virus. Photo: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

A government spokesman declined to comment on the interim analysis but said it wouldn’t affect Germany’s vaccination plan. On its website, the German health ministry is no longer counting CureVac in its vaccine delivery projections for the rest of 2021.

CureVac’s vaccine uses a gene-based technology, messenger RNA, similar to the technology used by

Moderna Inc.


Pfizer Inc.,

with its partner

BioNTech SE,

to make Covid-19 vaccines.

In comparison, those vaccines were at least 94% effective in large clinical trials last year before new virus variants spread significantly. The Moderna and Pfizer shots have formed the backbone of mass vaccination campaigns in the U.S. and other countries.

CureVac’s vaccine is slightly different than the Pfizer and Moderna shots, with a formulation that allows it to be stored at higher temperatures than the other shots.


Get a coronavirus briefing six days a week, and a weekly Health newsletter once the crisis abates: Sign up here.

CureVac conducted, with partner Bayer AG, a combined Phase 2/3 clinical trial of its vaccine, enrolling about 40,000 people in 10 countries in Latin America and Europe, starting in December.

Study volunteers received two doses of either the CureVac vaccine or a placebo, and researchers kept track of how many in either group came down with Covid-19.

The spread of new coronavirus variants may have played a role in the disappointing efficacy, CureVac said.

Some 57% of Covid-19 cases for which virus sequence data were available were caused by variants of concern—those that can be transmitted more easily or may cause more severe disease—and most of the remaining cases were caused by other, less characterized variants, the company said.

“While we were hoping for a stronger interim outcome, we recognize that demonstrating high efficacy in this unprecedented broad diversity of variants is challenging,” said CureVac Chief Executive

Dr. Franz-Werner Haas.

The company said the vaccine’s efficacy in the trial varied by age, with results suggesting effectiveness in younger people but not conclusive efficacy in those above age 60.

CureVac’s early work on a Covid-19 vaccine last year initially caught the attention of then President

Donald Trump.

In March 2020, Germany’s government accused the U.S. of trying to lure CureVac to relocate to the U.S. to work on a vaccine.

The company continued to develop the shot after its founder, who had returned as CEO, suffered a crippling stroke and took a medical leave.

Corrections & Amplifications
The German government holds a stake of approximately 16% in CureVac. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the stake size was 17%. (Corrected on June 17)

Write to Peter Loftus at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Related Posts

Live-Stream Shopping App Ntwrk Hires Its First Chief Marketing Officer

June 20, 2021

June 20, 2021

The company behind Ntwrk, an app that sells limited-edition merchandise during live-streamed videos often hosted by celebrities, has hired its...

Chinese Nuclear Plant Flags Performance Issue, French Part Owner Says

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

French power giant Électricité de France SA said it had requested an extraordinary board meeting with Chinese managers of a...

Corporate America and Hollywood: A Love Story

May 29, 2021

May 29, 2021

The tech giants stormed Hollywood this past week: Amazon.com Inc. announced its plan to buy the storied MGM studio for...

Millions of J&J Covid-19 Vaccines Are at Risk of Expiring in June

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

Hospitals, state health departments and the federal government are racing to decide how to use up millions of Johnson &...

Juneteenth Moves Closer to Federal Holiday Status

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

The House voted 415-14 to make June 19, or Juneteenth, a national holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the...

If Economy Meets Expectations, Time to Talk Taper Approaching

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

The Federal Reserve’s point man on financial regulation, Randal Quarles, said Wednesday that if the U.S. economy turns in the...

Chinese Factories Delay New Orders as Costs Rise, Risking Global Supply Shortages

June 1, 2021

June 1, 2021

HONG KONG—Buffeted by rising costs, some Chinese manufacturers are refusing to accept new orders or are even considering shutting down...

Fracking Companies Continue Consolidation as Cabot, Cimarex Form $14 Billion Firm

May 24, 2021

May 24, 2021

U.S. shale drillers Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. COG -6.01% and Cimarex Energy Co. XEC -6.42% said Monday that they...

Trucker Yellow Seeks to Steady Finances by Streamlining Operations

May 31, 2021

May 31, 2021

Trucker Yellow Corp. is pushing ahead with a sweeping overhaul aimed at making the large but financially troubled carrier more...

NYC’s Subway Operator and Martha’s Vineyard Ferry Latest to Report Cyberattacks

June 3, 2021

June 3, 2021

Revelations of cyberattacks on transportation systems in New York and Massachusetts heightened concerns about the threat to U.S. businesses and...

Blink Charging Taps Cash Pile in Electric Car Bet

May 27, 2021

May 27, 2021

Blink Charging Co. is using cash acquired in a recent stock offering to expand its network of charging stations ahead...

Global Ad Spending Expected to Rebound Faster Than Previously Forecast

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

After a reversal last year, global ad spending is forecast to snap back from the pandemic even faster than previously...

Former WeWork Chief’s Gargantuan Exit Package Gets New Sweetener

May 27, 2021

May 27, 2021

Nearly two years ago, SoftBank Group Corp. 9984 -2.20% sought to part ways with WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann when it...

People Are Returning to Restaurants, Stores and Hotels. But Not Yet the Office.

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

Office towers and nearby businesses in central business districts are missing out on the strong economic recovery, largely because the...

Oil Giants Are Dealt Major Defeats on Climate-Change as Pressures Intensify

May 26, 2021

May 26, 2021

Exxon XOM 1.17% Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell RDS.A 0.38% PLC suffered significant defeats Wednesday as environmental groups and...