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CureVac stock tumbles after its mRNA vaccine falls well short of Pfizer and Moderna rivals

July 1, 2021, 8:52 AM UTC

CureVac NV said its messenger RNA-based Covid-19 vaccine provided full protection against hospitalization and death for people under age 60, though its overall efficacy trailed that of similar shots already in use around the world.

The German company said in a statement late Wednesday that its vaccine was 48% effective at preventing disease of any severity. That is slightly higher than seen in a preliminary readout of the trial results but well behind the efficacy rates of more than 90% shown by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.’s mRNA shots.

U.S.-traded shares of CureVac tumbled more than 10% in after-hours trading in New York. CureVac’s Europe-listed shares were down about 16% at 9:40 a.m. in Frankfurt, wiping out a modest recovery seen in the past two weeks.

The vaccine was 77% effective against moderate and severe disease across variants for trial participants ages 18 to 60, the company said. It didn’t detail how well the shot performed in those older than 60.

The results may be good enough for CureVac to gain approval in Europe for adults up to age 60, Zhiqiang Shu, an analyst for Berenberg Capital Markets, said in a note. More data are needed to show if the shot works effectively enough in older populations or in adolescents. CureVac could target those age groups with its second-generation vaccine, which enters human trials in the third quarter, Shu said.

The future of CureVac’s vaccine had fallen into doubt earlier this month after the company released initial results from the trial. Its shares lost more than half their value.

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