German biotech firm CureVac has enrolled the first participant for a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, it said on Monday.
The trial, which is relevant for regulatory approval, will assess the safety and efficacy in adults and is expected to include more than 35,000 participants in Europe and Latin America, it added in a statement.
The study aims to demonstrate the efficacy of its vaccine candidate in preventing first episodes of confirmed cases of COVID-19 of any severity as well as preventing moderate to severe confirmed cases of COVID-19 in participants who have never been infected with SARS-CoV-2, CureVac said.
"The clinical safety and immunogenicity data achieved to date look promising and we are hopeful that this trial will continue to demonstrate the impact of mRNA technology and our vaccine to prevent COVID-19, and to help defeat this pandemic," Chief Executive Franz-Werner Haas said.
CureVac's vaccine candidate is one of three German vaccine projects that the German government is supporting with about 750 million euros ($911 million) in total. The European Commission has already secured up to 405 million doses of the vaccine.