CureVac stock plummeted Thursday after its Covid vaccine failed in an interim analysis.
The vaccine proved just 47% effective against Covid-19 of any severity, CureVac (CVAC) said in a news release. The Tubingen, Germany-based biotech company blamed the “unprecedented context of at least 13 variants circulating within the study population.”
“While we were hoping for a stronger interim outcome, we recognize that demonstrating high efficacy in this unprecedented broad diversity of variants is challenging,” Chief Executive Franz-Werner Haas said in a written statement. “As we are continuing toward the final analysis with a minimum of 80 additional cases, the overall vaccine efficacy may change.”
In morning trading on the stock market today, CureVac stock plunged 45.7% to 51.51.
CureVac Stock Plummets
CureVac used messenger RNA, or mRNA, technology to make its Covid vaccine. These vaccines tell the body to produce a single spike protein. This protein covers the outside of the virus that causes Covid-19. The body then mounts an immune response.
On a bearish note for CureVac stock, mRNA vaccines from Pfizer (PFE) with BioNTech (BNTX) and Moderna (MRNA) proved to be roughly 94%-95% effective at their final analyses. Six months after the second dose, the Pfizer and BioNTech jab was more than 91% effective, the companies said in early April.
But the original mRNA vaccines came about before variants were widespread. CureVac tested its vaccine in the growing presence of viral mutations that undercut the effectiveness of immunization.
In total, there were 134 cases of Covid-19 in CureVac’s interim read. Out of those, researchers sequenced 124. Just one case was attributed to the original strain. More than half, 57%, were what health officials call “variants of concern.” These have an impact on vaccines and treatments, can be more contagious and lead to more severe Covid.
“The variant-rich environment underlies the importance of developing next-generation vaccines as new virus variants continue to emerge,” CureVac CEO Haas said.
CureVac is still working on a next-generation Covid vaccine with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Middling RS Rating
CureVac stock went public last August. Shares have mostly run sideways since and have an IBD Digital Relative Strength Rating of 70 out of a best-possible 99. This puts CureVac stock’s long-term performance in the top 30% of all stocks regardless of industry group.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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