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Why CureVac Stock Is Getting Crushed Today

By George Budwell - Jun 17, 2021 at 11:06AM

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The biotech's COVID-19 vaccine candidate no longer appears to be viable.

What happened

Shares of German biotech CureVac (CVAC -5.39%) are down by a hefty 49.9% as of 9:47 a.m. EDT Thursday morning. The biotech's shares are getting walloped today in response to disappointing late-stage trial results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate known as CVnCoV.

Specifically, CureVac reported that the experimental vaccine completely whiffed on its second interim analysis. Despite being a messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine, which is the same platform used to develop the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, this early peek revealed that CVnCoV was less than half as effective (47%) as its predecessors at preventing COVID-19 infections. 

A doctor taking care of a COVID-19 patient.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

CureVac blamed the vaccine's poor efficacy -- compared to other mRNA vaccines already on the market -- on the large number of COVID-19 variants currently in circulation. The first round of mRNA vaccines were trialed before most of these variants became widespread.

While the vaunted U.S. market is arguably already saturated with COVID-19 vaccines, CureVac stood a decent shot at carving out a profitable niche with its vaccine in several ex-U.S. territories. Following these underwhelming trial results, however, the biotech probably won't realize a significant financial benefit from this once-promising product candidate. 

Now what

Can CureVac stock bounce back soon? Wall Street was expecting a lot from this vaccine from a revenue generation standpoint, to put it mildly.

The biotech, in fact, may have just lost upward of $3 billion in future revenue. In other words, CureVac's shares are unlikely to rally anytime soon. 

George Budwell has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Moderna Inc. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

CureVac N.V. Stock Quote
CureVac N.V.
$12.47 (-5.39%) $0.71
Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
$48.48 (-1.61%) $0.80
Moderna, Inc. Stock Quote
Moderna, Inc.
$150.43 (-4.79%) $-7.57
BioNTech SE Stock Quote
BioNTech SE
$148.40 (-2.39%) $-3.64

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