FRANKFURT - German biotech firm CureVac said on Tuesday it cancelled contract manufacturing deals for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine with two prospective partners, after rivals with approved shots have boosted production.
Agreements with Celonic Group of Switzerland and Germany's Wacker would be terminated but existing production deals with Rentschler Biopharma and Novartis would remain unchanged, CureVac said in a statement.
CureVac fell far behind rivals BioNTech, a partner of Pfizer, and Moderna, in trying to develop an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine.
"The continuous increase in mRNA manufacturing capacity together with the progress of large-scale vaccination efforts have strongly changed the demand for our first-generation COVID-19 vaccine, CVnCoV, over the last months,” said CureVac Chief Operating Officer Malte Greune.
CureVac in June and July published disappointing trial data on its initial vaccine candidate, and European regulatory approval is yet outstanding.
It is also working with GlaxoSmithKline on a next generation of COVID-19 vaccines.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Maria Sheahan) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +49 30 220133634; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))