Shares of the German biopharmaceutical company, CureVac (CVAC) plunged about 45% in early trading after the company released disappointing data from its second interim trials of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Preliminary data on CureVac’s mRNA vaccine showed an efficacy rate of just 47%. The HERALD study was conducted on about 40,000 volunteers in ten countries across Latin America and Europe.
In the trials, the company performed interim analysis on 134 COVID-19 cases, only one of which was sequenced to the original version of the virus, while others were a result of so-called variants of concern. (See CureVac stock analysis on TipRanks)
“While we were hoping for a stronger interim outcome, we recognize that demonstrating high efficacy in this unprecedented broad diversity of variants is challenging. As we are continuing toward the final analysis with a minimum of 80 additional cases, the overall vaccine efficacy may change,” said Dr. Franz-Werner Haas, CEO of CureVac.
Following the announcement, Berenberg Bank analyst Zhiqiang Shu reiterated a Buy rating and price target of $123 on the stock. This implies 152% upside potential to current price levels.
Shu noted, “We believe clear inferior efficacy of CVnCoV as compared to mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna may put potential real-world adoption at risk, even if it is approved near term. For the long term, we see more pressure placed on CureVac’s second-generation COVID-19 vaccine, which is still on track to enter the clinic in Q3. This version is designed to have a better efficacy profile at lower doses.”
Overall, the stock has a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 2 Buys and 2 Hold. The CVAC average analyst price target is $86.50, indicating 74% upside potential. Shares of CVAC are down approximately 39% year-to-date.
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