GSK, CureVac collaborate on next-gen multivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

February 3, 2021 -- Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) and CureVac have entered into a collaboration to jointly develop next-generation messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines for COVID-19, with the potential for a multivalent approach to address emerging variants in one vaccine.

Through the more than $180 million co-development agreement, GSK and CureVac will contribute resources and expertise to the research, development, and manufacture of a number of novel mRNA vaccine candidates, including both multivalent and monovalent approaches. The companies seek to provide broader protection against a variety of SARS-CoV-2 variants and enable a quick response to new variants in the future.

The work will begin immediately, with the goal of introducing a vaccine in 2022, subject to regulatory approval.

Under the agreement, GSK will be the marketing authorization holder for the next generation vaccine, except in Switzerland, and will have exclusive rights to develop, manufacture, and commercialize a next-generation COVID-19 vaccine in all countries with the exception of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. GSK will make an upfront payment of 75 million euros ($90.2 million U.S.) and a further milestone payment of 75 million euros ($90.2 million U.S.), conditional on the achievement of specific milestones.

GSK will also support the manufacture of up to 100 million doses of CureVac's first generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, in 2021. CVnCoV is currently in phase IIB/III clinical trials. The vaccine was developed on CureVac's platform, which is adapted to designing multivalent vaccines with balanced immune responses and a low dose of mRNA.

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