Through the deal, announced today, Bayer will assist CureVac with everything from running clinical trials to gaining regulatory approvals to managing the supply chain. CureVac will be in charge in the EU while Bayer has options to lead the regulatory authorizations in undisclosed areas outside of the EU.
CureVac and Bayer didn't disclose the financial terms of the deal, so it isn't clear if CureVac will benefit beyond the ability to sell more vaccine than it could on its own. Even if there's no up-front payment, the deal still looks like a smart move by CureVac, which is planning on going from no products on the market to supplying hundreds of millions of CVnCoV doses around the world. Bayer, on the other hand, has plenty of experience, having developed drugs for more than a century.
The added help from Bayer is especially important considering CureVac is trailing fellow mRNA vaccine companies Moderna and BioNTech, which have already gained regulatory authorizations for their vaccines in multiple territories. Last month, CureVac started its phase 2b/3 clinical trial, consisting of a 4,000-participant phase 2b portion followed by the phase 3 portion that will enroll 32,500 participants.
The company didn't give a time frame for when investors should expect data from the final phase 3 portion, but combining the phase 2b and 3 clinical trials should help CureVac move into the final phase seamlessly. Hopefully Bayer has a few pointers to help move things along even quicker.