While Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine turned in strong early efficacy numbers and NIAID director Anthony Fauci said he expects similar figures from Moderna, the new class of mRNA shots mostly comes with stringent storage requirements that raise logistical hurdles for a broad rollout. Except the program under development at CureVac, which now reports its candidate is stable for up to three months at refrigerator temperatures. Dubbed CVnCoV, CureVac’s shot can also be kept for up to 24 hours at room temperature, further reducing burdens for vaccination efforts, the company said.
The German biotech, which advanced to phase 2a testing in late September, is “very encouraged by the emerging stability profile,” of its vaccine candidate, chief production officer Florian von der Mülbe said in a statement. The profile “has the potential both to enable decentralized storage and to significantly facilitate large-scale vaccination efforts during the current pandemic,” he added.
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID Vaccine Data ‘open the floodgates’ for mRNA in Infectious Disease
The entire scientific community is cheering on Pfizer and BioNTech’s early COVID-19 vaccine data. Beyond the obvious boon for fighting the pandemic, the 90% efficacy result showed mRNA shots really can work.
For an entirely new technology that hasn’t seen a single approved product, that’s a big deal; the coronavirus showing proved it can be quickly pivoted for a pandemic pathogen. But its usefulness in other diseases? That could be a different story, two industry watchers figure. The early success of a COVID vaccine is going to “open the floodgates” of mRNA application especially in infectious disease, SVB Leerink analyst Daina Graybosch, who covers BioNTech, said in an interview.