Sunday, 5 December 2021

Germany takes 300m euro stake in firm developing vaccine

Work at the CureVac laboratory in Tübingen   © picture alliance/dpa

FRANKFURT: Germany will take a stake of about 23% in unlisted biotech firm CureVac by backing a 300 million euro ($337 million) capital increase to fund the company’s further development of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The move was agreed with SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp – who is an early backer and owner of a stake of more than 80% in CureVac – German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier and Hopp said in an online media briefing.

Altmaier said the German government would acquire a 23% stake in the company for 300 million euros (£269 million).

The move followed reported attempts by the U.S. government to acquire CureVac or its assets in March, which stirred a backlash in Berlin, with Altmaier and the interior minister voicing support for keeping CureVac German.

Altmaier said that the government wanted to strengthen the life sciences and biotech sectors in Germany and that Berlin would not have any influence over CureVac’s business strategy.

“The German Federal government has decided to invest in this promising company because it expects that this will accelerate development programmes and provide the means for CureVac to harness the full potential of its technology,” he told a news conference.

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