Biotech company fighting coronavirus shoots down the idea of reportedly giving US exclusive rights to vaccine




Biotech company fighting coronavirus shoots down the idea of reportedly giving US exclusive rights to vaccine
Biotech company fighting coronavirus shoots down the idea of reportedly giving US exclusive rights to vaccine  

Evan Vucci/AP

  • CureVac, a biopharmaceutical based in Germany reportedly rejected a proposal by the US to purchase the exclusive rights to a coronavirus vaccine.

  • The company was approached by the Trump administration to bring the company to the US, according to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

  • A CureVac investor told the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper that the company wanted to develop the highly-anticipated vaccine for the whole world, and not just for single countries, according to several German news reports.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A biopharmaceutical based in Germany reportedly rejected a proposal by the US to purchase the exclusive rights to a coronavirus vaccine, according to the German news organization Mannheimer Morgen.

CureVac AG, a vaccine and therapeutics developer headquartered in Tübingen, Germany, was approached by the Trump administration to bring the company to the US, in exchange for funding, according to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.

A German official reportedly claimed that Trump was trying to obtain the scientist's research exclusively, and that the administration wanted to get a potential vaccine "only for the United States."

CureVac investor Christof Hettich told the Mannheimer Morgen newspaper that the company wanted to develop the highly-anticipated vaccine for the whole world, and not just for single countries, according to several German news reports.

The company told Business Insider in a statement Sunday it has been in contact with many organizations and global authorities, but denied "rumors of an acquisition."

The German government and lawmakers expressed a desire that any potential vaccine would also be given to their people.

"The exclusive sale of a possible vaccine to the USA must be prevented by all means," Karl Lauterbach, an economics and epidemiology professor and a German Social Democrats lawmaker said on Twitter. "Capitalism has limits."

Getty Images/Pool

A German Health Ministry spokeswoman told Reuters that the government "is very interested in ensuring that vaccines and active substances against the new coronavirus are also developed in Germany and Europe," and that it would restrict the US from obtaining exclusive rights.

"In this regard, the government is in intensive exchange with the company CureVac," she said.

US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, denied newspaper Welt am Sonntag's reporting and said its "story was wrong."

CureVac, a private company, has proposed several vaccine candidates for the coronavirus pandemic. Company officials said it was striving to have an experimental vaccine by June or July, before applying for permission to test on human subjects. CEO Daniel Menichella reportedly met with Trump and Vice President Mike Pence earlier this month to discuss the coronavirus vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reportedly calculated there were over 3,000 coronavirus cases and at least 60 deaths. Trump on Friday declared a national emergency, freeing up $50 billion to assist in handling the influx of coronavirus-related cases.

In Germany, more than 4,500 cases and nine deaths were reported as of Sunday. The country is expected to seal its borders with France, Austria, Switzerland, according to AFP.

Business Insider

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