The European Commission has signed a contract with CureVac for access to 405 million doses of its investigational COVID-19 vaccine.

The contract includes an initial purchase of 225 million doses of the vaccine on behalf of all EU Member States, as well as an option to request up to a further 180 million doses once the shot is proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19.

Previous contracts signed by the EU secure access to investigational COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca, Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen and BioNTech/Pfizer. The Commission has also concluded ‘successful’ exploratory talks with Moderna, it said in a statement released yesterday.

On 6 July, CureVac signed a €75m loan agreement with the European Investment Bank for the development and large-scale production of vaccines, including the company’s candidate against COVID-19.

Its COVID-19 vaccine is mRNA-based – this novel technology uses lipid nanoparticles to carry information which helps the body produce its own active substances to target a range of diseases.

“The Commission has secured to date at least 1.2 billion doses and fulfils its commitment to ensuring equitable access to safe, effective and affordable vaccines not only for EU citizens but also for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.

“Most of these vaccine candidates are in an advanced phase of clinical trials, hopefully authorisation will confirm these positive results, after which they will be quickly deployed and help us in overcoming the pandemic,” she added.