CureVac announces collaboration with Janssen on flu vaccine

CureVac, a Tubingen, Germany-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announced a new collaboration on Thursday with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to develop a new messenger RNA-based influenza vaccine.

CureVac uses the antigenic and adjuvant properties of mRNAs for the development of effective, novel mRNA vaccines. The company's RNActive vaccines use modified and formulated mRNA with strong antigen expression, increased stability and enhanced immune-stimulatory activity.

According to a study published in December in Nature Biotechnology, RNActive vaccines based on CureVac's technology platform demonstrated safety and effectiveness in several clinical trials. The preclinical influenza studies formed a basis for the collaboration with Janssen.

Under the terms of the collaboration CureVac will work with Crucell Holland B.V., a member of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, to develop an influenza vaccine based on the RNActive technology. CureVac will use Crucell's proprietary antigen sequences to develop RNActive vaccines. Additional details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

CureVac is running multiple clinical trials with its RNActive-based vaccines, including a large, randomized Phase IIb clinical trial on a prostate cancer candidate.

CureVac is also collaborating with In-Cell-Art and Sanofi Pasteur on a $33.1 million project co-funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop prophylactic vaccines in infectious diseases using the RNActive technology platform.