CureVac says its COVID-19 vaccine is suitable for standard fridge transport

FILE PHOTO: An employee of German biopharmaceutical company CureVac, demonstrates research workflow on a vaccine for the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease at a laboratory in Tuebingen, Germany, March 12, 2020. Picture taken on March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

BERLIN (Reuters) - German biotec firm CureVac 5CV.DE said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to remain stable at 5 degrees Celsius (41 F) for at least three months, making it potentially easier to distribute than some rivals' compounds.

CureVac, which is close to launching Phase III testing of its vaccine, said the stability of the liquid vaccine was tested at its anticipated storage concentration, and it has been stored at 5 degrees Celsius C as well as below minus 60 degrees.

Tests also established stability at room temperature for up to 24 hours, CureVac said on Thursday.

Pfizer PFE.N and BioNTech BNTX.O on Monday were the first to release data showing that their vaccine worked in a large, Phase III clinical trial.

However, their vaccine needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius. Before it is administered, it can be kept in a fridge for up to five days, or in thermal shipping boxes for up to 15 days.

CureVac is using the so-called messenger RNA (mRNA) approach for its vaccine, the same as the BioNTech-Pfizer alliance and Moderna MRNA.O.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle and Ludwig Burger, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Elaine Hardcastle