German biopharmaceutical company CureVac AG has rejected claims of an offer for a “large sum of money” from U.S. President Donald Trump to secure exclusive rights to a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the company.
In a press release, yesterday (15 March), CureVac stated that the company is in contact with “CEPI and many other organizations and authorities worldwide, however, abstains from commenting on speculations and rejects allegations about offers for acquisition of the company or its technology.”
Health officials in Germany reportedly confirmed the story about the offer, which ran in the Sunday (March 15) newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag.
The German newspaper headlined the article U.S. President Donald Trump “tries to lure German scientists who are working on a coronavirus vaccine to the US with high financial rewards.”
Quoting “German government sources”, Die Welt writes that Daniel Menichella, CEO of CureVac until last week, attended a meeting in the White House at the beginning of March to discuss a COVID-19 vaccine. At the meeting with the President and the White House Coronavirus Task Force he was offered “a high sum, there is talk of 1 billion US$ in Berlin,” to buy the vaccine, “but only for the US,” reports the paper.
German politicians have insisted that no country should have a monopoly on any future vaccine. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told German media:
“We will only defeat this virus if we work together, not against each other,…”
CureVac COVID-19 vaccine development
Tübingen-based CureVac AG has been working on a COVID-19 vaccine since January, cooperating with Germany’s federal institute for vaccines and biomedicines Paul Ehrlich Institute. In their press release issued on Sunday, the company said, “internal efforts are focused on the development of a coronavirus vaccine with the goal to reach, help and to protect people and patients worldwide.”
CureVac AG is a pioneering clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specialising in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. The idea of the patented CureVac technology is to use mRNA as a data carrier to direct the human body to generate its own proteins that can combat a broad variety of diseases.
Recently, the company revealed successful vaccination results in its Rabies program fully protecting humans with two doses of only 1 microgram (1 millionth of a gram).These results are promising when thinking of supplying populations and people worldwide in a pandemic.
CureVac sees mRNA as one of the most effective molecules based on its inherent mode of action to offer speedy and successful solutions in pandemic situations, such as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. At this time, CureVac is working on expanding its manufacturing capacities to be able to provide up to billions of doses for outbreak situations like Covid-19.
With over two decades of in-house experience and a solid science background, CureVac is utilising its powerful vaccine technology to concentrate on generating an efficient, reliable and safe vaccine for COVID-19.
Mariola Fotin-Mleczek, Chief Technology Officer of CureVac, stated:
“Nature has invented mechanisms to activate our immune system against infectious diseases. With our unique messenger RNA technology we mimic nature and give our body the information how to fight against the virus. The combination of mRNA science, disease understanding, formulation and production expertise make CureVac a unique player to fight against any infectious disease, no matter whether they are seasonal or pandemic.”
CureVac is one of the frontrunners in the race for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. A number of other large pharma giants and biotech specialists are working on developing a vaccine as soon as possible, utilising a range of technologies, including RNA and DNA platforms.
More about CureVac
CureVac is leveraging its technology to build cancer treatments, antibody therapy, infectious disease care, and prophylactic vaccines. CureVac has received significant funding from dievini Hopp BioTech holding and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among others. CureVac has affiliated with international companies and organisations, including CEPI, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly & Co, Genmab, CRISPR Therapeutics, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among others. CureVac is located in Tübingen, Germany and has facilities in Frankfurt and Boston, USA.