German biopharmaceutical firm CureVac has concluded exploratory discussions with the European Commission (EC) on an advanced purchase agreement (APA) for the company’s mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

The proposed contract will provide all European Union (EU) member states with up to 225 million doses, with an option for an additional of 180 million doses, made if the vaccine candidate is safe and effective.

Currently, the vaccine candidate is in Phase I clinical trial at multiple sites in Germany and Belgium, being conducted to identify the optimal dose and assess the safety and immunological profile in humans.

Preliminary data from the trial is expected in the early fourth quarter of this year. Based on the data, the company will conduct a Phase IIb / III clinical trial.

CureVac CEO Dr Franz-Werner Haas said: “In the current pandemic, we are very pleased to further strengthen the European Commission’s endeavour to provide rapid access to a safe and effective vaccine against the Covid-19 virus across Europe and beyond.

“Assuming positive results from our ongoing clinical trials and approval from the regulatory authorities, we are fully committed to ensure broad access to our vaccine.”

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By GlobalData

Last month, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and EC agreed to provide CureVac with a €75m funding for the ongoing infectious disease vaccine programmes, including its Covid-19 vaccine candidate.

The EC, last week, concluded an agreement with AstraZeneca for up to 400 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222. This marks the first deal signed by the EC for a Covid-19 vaccine.

This agreement will provide EU member states the option to access AstraZeneca’s vaccine equally at zero profit during the pandemic. EU member states will also be able to redirect doses to other European countries.