The Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company CureVac, founded in 2000, is developing a new class of transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA). “The RNA people” use this natural messenger as an information carrier for building instructions for the production of proteins. CureVac’s goal is to provide mRNA-based vaccines and medicines to combat a wide range of diseases.
RNA-based prophylactic vaccines
Vaccines based on mRNA represent a new generation of safe and effective vaccines that can be developed to protect against virtually any infectious disease. Standardized production of these vaccines is cost-effective and only takes a few weeks. CureVac is currently testing the CVnCoV vaccine candidate against COVID-19 disease in advanced clinical trials.
RNA-based cancer therapies
CureVac’s mRNA-based cancer immunotherapies stimulate the patient’s immune system to fight the tumor through a specific immune response. In this context, the active agents usually consist of different mRNA molecules, each encoding specific tumor-associated antigens. CureVac is testing these vaccines as monotherapy as well as in combination with other approaches such as checkpoint inhibitors.
mRNA-based molecular therapies
CureVac’s mRNA-based technology RNArt® targets the body’s own production of therapeutic proteins and antibodies. RNArt® does not elicit an immune response and can be developed, for example, as a protein replacement therapy or for passive immunization. The result is an effective “in vivo factory” for targeted therapies.
Own GMP multi-product facilities
Since 2006, CureVac has its own GMP-compliant production facility for large RNA molecules for medical use. The Tübingen-based company was thus the first in the world to develop this process and obtain regulatory approval. The fourth production facility is scheduled to go into operation in 2022 as an additional GMP facility on an industrial scale at the main site in Tübingen. Due to the standardized production process, CureVac can use its production facilities for manufacturing all RNA constructs. To meet the increasing volume requirements for clinical trials and subsequent market supply, CureVac is expanding its integrated European network of experienced CDMO (Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization) partners for the production of the CVnCoV vaccine.