Fareva enhancer: CureVac to use CDMO for COVID vaccine fill/finish

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine developer CureVac has contracted CDMO Fareva for the fill and finish of COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Under terms of the deal – financials of which have not been disclosed – contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Fareva will provide fill and finish capabilities for CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CVnCoV, from facilities in Val-de-Reuil and Pau, both in France.

“We are proud to contribute to the fill and finish manufacturing of this innovative vaccine candidate from CureVac,” said Alexandre Bastit, VP of EMEA Pharma Sales at Fareva. “This agreement confirms Fareva’s strategy of investing significantly in the areas of sterile manufacturing, enlarging our technology offering.”

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Fareva has invested over €80 million ($97 million) in its Val-de-Reuil facility over the past decade, but Pau is a brand new extension for the CDMO, having just acquired the plant – along with a monoclonal antibody production plant in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, France – from French drugmaker Pierre Fabre.

CVnCoV is an optimized, non-chemically modified mRNA, encoding the pre-fusion stabilized full-length spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is set to enter a Phase IIb/III study before the end of the year, supported by clinical trial material made at CureVac’s mRNA production capacities and headquarters in Tübingen, Germany.

CureVac said the deal will “help to increase the overall production capacity for our vaccine,” with Fareva joining its European vaccine manufacturing network of CDMOs.

CureVac came to light in March when it was the recipient of up to €80 million from the European Commission (EC) to support the development and manufacture of a potential vaccine to treat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At the same time, the firm was subject to rumors that Donald Trump had tried to buy the firm to secure the potential vaccine for exclusive use in the US.

Since then, the firm has received an equity investment from GlaxSmithKline of €300 million and inked a vaccine and monoclonal antibody drug manufacturing and commercialization agreement with the Big Pharma firm.

And in August, the firm raised $213 million through an initial public offering (IPO).