Tübingen, Germany-based CureVac has filed for an initial public offering in the United States as it positions itself to capitalize on white hot capital market demand for biotech offerings, particularly when it comes to next-generation platforms used for COVID-19 vaccines. The company has a value of around $1.6 billion and has prominent billionaire investors such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has provided investments and grants. The company seeks at least $100 million as reflected in proposed maximum aggregate offering price. The company also seeks to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol CVAC. The company filed confidentially on April 29, 2020 with BofA, Securities, Jefferies, Credit Suisse and Kempen as joint bookrunners for the underwriting.
The global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company develops a new class of transformative medicines based on messenger ribonucleic acid with the potential to improve healthcare. The company seeks no less than to revolutionize medicine while opening up new avenues for the development of therapies by enabling the body to make its own drugs. The company has booked $20 million in revenue for the last twelve months ended March 31, 2020.
Does CureVac have a state-of-the-art COVID-19 vaccine candidate?
Yes. In fact, President Trump invited the former CEO to the White House for talks and possible deal talks. The German company passed.
What are their lead candidates?
The company’s current product portfolio includes clinical and preclinical candidates across multiple disease indications in oncology, prophylactic vaccines and protein therapy. Their lead clinical programs are CV8102, which is under evaluation in Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of four types of solid tumors, and CV7202, a Phase 1 program for a vaccination against rabies. The company is accelerating their mRNA vaccine program targeting SARS-CoV-2 for which they initiated a Phase 1 clinical trail in healthy volunteers in June 2020, with results expected in Q4 2020.
Why is mRNA-based medicines novel?
This novel class of medicine have the potential to address limitations of conventional treatment modalities. Their hypothesis: the modular nature of mRNA has the potential for higher efficacy, greater speed and lower cost of production as compared to convention treatment modalities. The company leveraged the advantages of mRNA-based medicines in the development of their technology platform. In the process they have developed extensive expertise in the fields of mRNA biology, optimization and production. Their RNA optimizer platform is built on three core pillars including:
· Protein design: optimizing the specific properties of encoded protein
· mRNA optimization: increase translation efficacy of the mRNA molecule; and
· mRNA delivery: selecting the best-suited delivery system from their diverse portfolio and third party delivery systems.
The company has capitalized on these elements to substantially improve protein expression levels while modulating the interaction with the immune system in preclinical and clinical trials. They will continue to invest ongoing in methods to further advance their mRNA based medicines.
As highlighted in their disclosure, first and foremost they position that they have a differentiated mRNA technology platform with the potential to address a wide range of diseases. Moreover, with a broad portfolio of mRNA-based medicines in preclinical or Phase 1, they also believe they can targeting different tissue type based on the delivery systems. Their in-house manufacturing capability, partnerships and strategic partnerships they argue carry considerable weight in the company’s favor.
While their strategy is based on transforming into a leading, fully integrated mRNA-based medicines company capable of transforming patient lives. While they will continue to invest in the underlying proprietary technology platform and utilize a disease selection approach to minimize clinical and commercial risk, they seek to rapidly progress lead product candidates while keep ongoing investment in manufacturing. They must selectively seek optimal partnerships and execute on a superior corporate development initiative for strategic acquisitions or in-licenses of technology or assets complimentary to the company’s.
As far as COVID-19 vaccines CureVac will compete against Moderna, BioNTech (Pfizer), Vaxagen, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca/Oxford and others.
Call to action: Follow the link to review the Prospectus.