(Reuters) – Germany has signed a contract with CureVac and its British partner GlaxoSmithKline for domestically produced mRNA vaccines to bolster supplies in case of public health emergencies, the German biotech firm said on Monday.
The five-year contract allows for production of up to 80 million doses at short notice until 2029, CureVac said, adding that those doses could be for the remainder of the current pandemic or future outbreaks.
“Our mRNA development program in collaboration with CureVac could play a key role for pandemic preparedness thanks to adaptability of the mRNA technology and its potential for a rapid response,” Roger Connor, president of vaccines and global health at GSK, said.
The contract comes after Germany unveiled plans last month to spend nearly 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to ensure COVID-19 vaccine makers had enough capacity for local supply following previous supply bottlenecks in the wider region.
CureVac gave up on its first-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, last year after poor data, but trials for the German company’s next-generation COVID-19 shots have begun.
London-listed GSK, the world’s largest vaccine maker by sales, agreed in 2020 with CureVac to develop mRNA-based vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for infectious diseases after taking a 10% stake in the German company.
Last week, rival BioNTech, whose mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine with Pfizer has been administered globally, was also granted a “pandemic preparedness” contract by the German government.
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