Jun 16, 2020 - Health

Germany to invest €300 million in biotech firm developing coronavirus vaccine

Illustration of the Earth with a needle stuck in it.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The German government will invest €300 million for a 23% ownership stake in CureVac, a VC-backed mRNA biotech working on a COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: The deal is intended to prevent CureVac from relocating or being acquired by a foreign investor, reflecting increased global protectionism around coronavirus drugs.

The backdrop: In March, a German newspaper reported that the Trump administration had discussed buying CureVac, sparking outrage in Germany.

  • CureVac is majority-owned owned by SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp, via his VC firm, while other backers include Eli Lilly, Baillie Gifford, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The bottom line: "It's not clear whether Germany will seek to gain preferential access to the [CureVac] vaccine should it come through testing." — Ben Adams, FierceBiotech

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