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UPDATE 2-CureVac says speaking to EU about ideal region to use vaccine

* CureVac says vaccine efficacy is better in those younger than 60

* EU vaccine approval still outstanding

* CureVac struck EU deal but CEO says has world population in mind (Adds EU reaction)

FRANKFURT, July 1 (Reuters) - Curevac said it was in discussions with its prospective customer, the European Union, about where in the world to best deploy its experimental COVID-19 vaccine if it wins approval.

Under CureVac’s only major supply deal, the European Union last year secured up to 405 million doses of the vaccine in November, of which 180 million doses were optional.

CureVac said on Thursday it was in ongoing discussions with the region’s drugs regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), about an approval.

“We have a supply obligation towards the EU and we are in discussions with the EU where the vaccine should best be used after approval,” Chief Executive Officer Franz-Werner Haas said in a media call on Thursday.

The German biotech firm said late on Wednesday its vaccine was only 48% effective in the final analysis of its pivotal mass trial but it highlighted that efficacy was 77% in the age group younger than 60 years when considering only moderate to severe symptoms and excluding cases of mild disease.

Many low and middle-income countries, which have fallen far behind developed nation in the global vaccination campaign, have a younger overall population than Europe.

“This is about a broad approach to vaccinate the world population,” CEO Haas added.

The EU Commission said it would await EMA’s recommendation and confirmed that it was in discussions with CureVac, declining to comment further. (Additional reporting by Philip Blenkinsop Editing by Kirsti Knolle and Elaine Hardcastle)

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