Berlin – The German government says it is acquiring a 300-million-euro (337 million dollars) stake in CureVac, a biopharmaceutical company developing a vaccine against the coronavirus.
Economy Minister Peter Altmaier confirmed the move on Monday, saying that the figure constituted a stake of about 23 per cent in the Tuebingen-headquartered company.
Altmaier said the government would not be involved in decision making at the company, adding that the acquisition was merely a bid by the German government to gain more independence from other countries in terms of access to a coronavirus vaccine.
“This investment is a first step in that direction,’’ Altmaier said.
Attempts by the U.S. government to acquire CureVac, which were never formally confirmed by the White House made international headlines in March and unleashed a political backlash in Germany.
Media reports said the U. S. had offered 1 billion dollars for exclusive rights to a vaccine that the company is developing.
In April, CureVac said that its coronavirus vaccine would be ready for the clinical trial stage in early summer.
Currently, pharmaceutical companies ranging from small businesses like Curevac to larger counterparts like Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline are running a total of around 120 projects to develop coronavirus vaccines.