German CureVac (NASDAQ:CVAC) is climbing higher in the stock market today. Why? The company just announced it is launching Phase 2 trials of its novel coronavirus vaccine candidate. CVAC stock is up almost 5% in intraday trading.
According to a company release, CureVac is moving forward with Phase 2a studies. Importantly, these trials will help determine safety and immunogenicity — the ability of the candidate to trigger an immune response, such as the production of virus-neutralizing antibodies. CureVac will also be using these trials to determine a final dose for evaluation.
There is so much more for investors to note about these trials. To start, they will take place in Panama and Peru, instead of Germany where CureVac is headquartered. The company is planning to enroll 690 participants, including older adults. This is important because we have seen how the elderly — especially individuals with existing medical conditions — are at increased risk for hospitalization and death. Researchers are now singling out this population in their vaccine studies to try and protect them.
Investors should also pay attention to the vaccine itself. The candidate CVnCoV uses messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA. Developers believe that while more experimental, mRNA vaccines can be more potent and better trigger immune responses. Rivals Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) are taking a similar approach.
But why should investors really care about CVAC stock?
CVAC Stock Rallies on Phase 2 Trials
There is a lot to like about how CureVac is approaching the coronavirus vaccine race. Its has an experimental and innovative vaccine, it recognizes the risks elderly individuals face, and it is making progress with later-stage trials. However, it is behind mRNA rivals like Moderna and Pfizer. CureVac also lags companies behind more traditional candidates like AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN). With the current development timeline, CureVac would just be launching Phase 3 trials at the end of 2020.
Remember, other companies are planning to deliver late-stage results as early as October.
Importantly, CureVac has had an interesting trajectory. Leading up to its initial public offering it generated an enormous amount of buzz. Based in Germany, the company would have easier access to the European market. Plus, after months of bidding up vaccine names, CureVac gave Wall Street a chance to get in at the beginning of the journey and ride it higher.
However, CVAC stock has not had an easy go. Shares are down 15% since its IPO, despite the initial excitement and its progress thus far. Will today’s announcement be enough to turn things around for good?
Keep a close eye on CureVac. It lags the race, but it still has potential.
On the date of publication, Sarah Smith did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Sarah Smith is a Web Content Producer for InvestorPlace.com.