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mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine Improved through mRNA Backbone Optimization

Two COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, made by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna, are helping to change the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. A third mRNA vaccine, developed by CureVac and known as CVnCoV, has not had the same success to date. Indeed, a recent phase IIb/III clinical trial of CVnCoV reported approximately 48% efficacy against symptomatic disease.

Now, a second generation mRNA vaccine has been developed, named CV2CoV, with noncoding modifications to optimize the vaccine. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) conducted a head-to-head study of CV2CoV compared with CVnCoV in nonhuman primates. The scientists assessed the vaccines’ ability to provoke an immune response as well as their protective efficacy against COVID-19 in non-human primates.

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