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Not as High as Hoped

Initial results from a trial evaluating CureVac's candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine show a low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19, the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, the initial analysis indicates that the candidate vaccine is 47 percent effective in preventing COVID-19, though not all the data from the company's 40,000-participant trial in Latin America and Europe has been evaluated.

The Washington Post notes that the trial results may have been influenced by the spread of different viral variants. It adds that while the company has released little data so far, it has said that thirteen different variants were linked to COVID-19 cases in the trial, and more than half of the cases were due to variants of concern. "They're testing their vaccine much later than all the other vaccines we have were tested, and there are a lot more variants out there that could confound the ability of a vaccine to protect," Deborah Fuller from the University of Washington tells the Post.

The Post adds that the CureVac trial was being closely watched, as its vaccine is also mRNA-based like those from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, but with tweaks that allow it to be stored at refrigerator temperatures and as Europe has pre-ordered 225 million doses.

Franz-Werner Haas, the CEO of CureVac, says the company will continue to analyze its data and the overall efficacy may change, the AP adds.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.