CureVac said the vaccine also reduced the levels of replicating virus in the upper respiratory tract and protected the lungs of hamsters when they were exposed to a live virus.

“The pre-clinical data published today show that our COVID-19 vaccine candidate has the potential to induce an efficacious and balanced immune response, mimicking the natural immune defence and providing lung protection in a relevant challenge model,” said CureVac chief technology officer Mariola Fotin-Mleczek.

Shares in CureVac were up 7.8 per cent at 1148 GMT.

The potential vaccine is currently being tested in humans in early and mid-stage trials, and CureVac said it expected to publish interim Phase I data shortly.

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