German company CureVac denies US offer

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German company CureVac denies US offer





© ANDREAS GEBERT / REUTERS



There has been some excitement around the German vaccine company CureVac. The reason was an alleged takeover bid by the Trump administration. But that never happened, the company says now.

It will be some time before a vaccine against the new Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus is ready for use on patients. However, several companies are already working on substances that will one day fight the pathogen. These companies also include CureVac AG from Tubingen, where you have two candidates for a possible vaccine in mind. The company plans to begin clinical tests in the summer.

The weekend had a report the “World on Sunday” caused excitement after which US President Donald Trump gained access to the company want to secure. The federal government soon made it clear that the vaccine company would not sold to the USA. In a conference call on Tuesday, the management of the company now said that there had never been such an offer anyway. The US government has neither attempted to buy the company, nor secured exclusive manufacturing capacity in Tubingen. Scientists were also not addressed directly, it said at CureVac.

However, the company was the only German company to take part in a discussion in the White House. CureVac was represented by the then director of the company, the American Dan Menichella. A short time later, this was replaced by the founding CEO Ingmar Hoerr. That had nothing to do with the meeting at Trump, it is now said at CureVac. Hoerr simply knows the necessities better in the current situation.

Hoerr, on the other hand, is currently also unable to fill the top position. “Medical reasons” are to blame, as the company explains. But there is no connection with Corona. The business is currently managed by Hoerr’s deputy Franz-Werner Haas.

Loans are said to help build a fourth manufacturing facility

After the alleged US offer, CureVac had held talks with the EU Commission in Brussels. In doing so, the company up to 80 million euros of loans from the European Investment Bank, which are guaranteed by a guarantee from Brussels. With the help of this money, the company plans to complete a fourth production facility currently under construction.

The possible vaccine from CureVac is based a new process, where molecules from short nucleic acids are supposed to stimulate the cells of the body to produce antibodies against the pathogen. So far, however, there is no vaccine on the market that is based on this principle.

The company’s competitors include Biontech from Mainz, which is also based in Germany, and which works together with a Chinese company. In the United States, the moderna biotechnology company is also researching a vaccine that works on a similar principle.

A first test A volunteer has already taken place, but Moderna believes that a vaccine can only be on the market in a year or a year and a half. The reason is the prescribed tests, which should rule out side effects in the many people to be vaccinated.

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