The criticism of CureVac’s coronavirus vaccine is unjustified in the view of chief executive Franz-Werner Haas.
“It is factually not right to put the numbers relating to the preliminary efficacy of our coronavirus vaccine and the numbers on efficacy for other vaccines next to each other,” Haas told dpa in an interview.
He noted that the original variant was currently of little relevance in the infection rates now being seen around the world.
“The numbers on efficacy for the other vaccines would probably look different, if the studies had been conducted at a later point in time,” Haas said.
CureVac announced in a mandatory release on Wednesday that its CVnCoV vaccine had achieved a preliminary efficacy of only 47 per cent against Covid-19 disease “of any severity.”
The announcement led to its share price effectively halving on stock exchanges.
Tuebingen-based CureVac aims to conclude analysis of the data from the final phase of the study within the next two or three weeks, and Haas expressed confidence that the efficacy numbers would change.
CureVac would then consult with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on whether additional data were needed.
The European Union’s drug regulator said on Thursday that the interim results would have no consequence on the review process for the time being. According to the EMA, there is no hard minimum limit on efficacy.
Haas said CureVac would continue to seek approval. “If there is an effective vaccine, it should be used,” he said, noting that many developing countries scarcely had access to vaccines at all.