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J&J, Curevac to Collaborate on mRNA-Based Flu Vaccine

CureVac to Collaborate with Janssen on Development of mRNA-Based Influenza Vaccine

TUBINGEN, Germany, Oct. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CureVac, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that has pioneered the development of a new class of therapies and vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA), today announced that it has entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Under the agreement CureVac will collaborate with Crucell Holland B.V. (a member of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies) on the development of an influenza vaccine based on CureVac's RNActive® technology.

RNActive® vaccines, based on CureVac's technology platform, have already demonstrated effectiveness and safety in several clinical trials. CureVac's preclinical influenza studies, which were published in Nature Biotechnology in December 2012, have formed an important basis for this collaboration.

Under the terms of the collaboration, CureVac will develop optimized RNActive® vaccines based on Crucell's proprietary antigen sequences which will be tested in various models.

Additional details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

About RNActive ®
CureVac is combining both the antigenic and adjuvant properties of mRNAs to develop novel and effective mRNA vaccines. RNActive® vaccines are comprised of modified and formulated mRNA with three distinct features: The mRNA vaccines are translated into the target antigens, and the formulation and modifications lead to translatability ensuring (1) strong antigen expression, (2) increased stability and (3) enhanced immune-stimulatory activity. Furthermore the RNActive® technology allows a faster generation of vaccines than the conventional methods.

About CureVac
CureVac, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company from Tubingen, Germany, is the most advanced company in the field of mRNA-based vaccination. The company uses its technology platforms for the development of novel therapeutic mRNA vaccines (RNActive®) for cancer and prophylactic vaccines for infectious diseases. Furthermore CureVac develops adjuvants based on non-coding RNAs (RNAdjuvant®) for enhancing the immune response of other vaccines. The company has successfully completed Phase I/IIa studies with its RNActive® cancer vaccines in prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Results so far have shown that mRNA-based products are safe and capable of inducing balanced immune responses including humoral and cellular, Th1 and Th2 and effector and memory responses. CureVac is currently running a number of clinical trials with its RNActive® based vaccines, including a large randomized Phase IIb clinical trial in prostate cancer. In addition to developing its own pipeline, CureVac is collaborating with Sanofi Pasteur and In-Cell-Art on a $33.1 million project co-funded by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for the development of prophylactic vaccines in infectious diseases utilizing its RNActive® technology platform.

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Media Contacts
Verena Lauterbach, Manager Communications
CureVac GmbH, Tubingen, Germany
T: +49 (0) 7071 920 53 756

Dr. Martina Schwarzkopf        
Russo Partners, New York                                                                 
T: + 1 (212) 845 4292
M: + 1 (347) 591 8785                                     
T: + 1 (212) 845 4251


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Posted: October 2013