CureVac sets up Swiss business ahead of seeking COVID-19 shot approval

FILE PHOTO: A volunteer receives a dose of CureVac vaccine or a placebo during a study by the German biotech firm CureVac as part of a testing for a new vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brussels, Belgium March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

ZURICH (Reuters) – German drugmaker CureVac this week established a Swiss business unit, official records show, a precursor to seeking approval from national drugs regulator Swissmedic for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

CureVac Swiss AG was established on Monday in Basel, home of big drugmakers including Roche and Novartis, according to the city of Basel’s commercial registry. A business must be in the commercial registry as a condition of applying for a licence for a medicinal product from Swissmedic.

“The company aims to research, develop and market biotechnological products,” said a description of CureVac’s purpose in setting up the unit.

CureVac has yet to formally apply for approval for its mRNA vaccine candidate, a Swissmedic spokesman said, though the company is gearing up to do so.

“Concerning a potential application … we are currently in discussions with Swissmedic,” a spokesman said in an email.

Switzerland – which to date has approved COVID-19 shots from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson but has said it needs more information from AstraZeneca to bless its vaccine – has placed orders for five million doses of CureVac’s vaccine.

Europe began a real-time review of CureVac’s vaccine in February, and the company has said data from trials could come in March or April.

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