Trump tried to secure CureVac coronavirus vaccine for US only – reports

The ugly side of the coronavirus outbreak continues to dominate the news, amid reports that the Trump administration attempted to entice Germany’s CureVac to move its coronavirus vaccine research to the US.

Citing German government sources, Reuters said that the US government was looking at how it could access a potential vaccine developed by German biotech CureVac, one of a growing number of companies trying to find therapies for the disease.

German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported that president Donald Trump had offered funds to lure CureVac to the US, while the Berlin government was making counter-offers to get it to stay.

According to the Welt, an unidentified German government source said Trump was trying to secure CureVac’s technology exclusively for the US.

While the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has said on twitter that the Welt story is wrong.

 

CureVac was one of several pharmas and biotechs that attended a meeting with Trump and his top advisers to give an update on research into coronavirus therapies at the beginning of the month.

While Trump seemingly struggled with the details about how to fight the disease, he was keenly interested in accelerating the clinical development process in this sensitive election year.

CureVac, which has also denied the story, is working with mRNA as a potential technology to combat the disease, using the technology to produce specific antigens that encourage the immune system to make antibodies against the disease.

The story drew a strong response from commentators on twitter, who pointed out that CureVac’s technology was originally developed thanks to public funding.

 

Last week privately-owned CureVac, based in Tubingen, announced that Daniel Menichella has been replaced as CEO by founder and chairman of the supervisory board Ingmar Hoerr.

The company issued a lengthy statement thanking Menichella for his contribution to the company, but gave no reason for the changes.

This was followed by a statement on Sunday saying that the company is “focused on the development of a coronavirus vaccine with the goal to reach, help and to protect people and patients worldwide.”

It added: “As a consequence, the company is in contact with especially CEPI and many other organisations and authorities worldwide, however abstains from commenting on speculations and rejects allegations about offers for acquisition of the company or its technology.”

It also strongly denied the story on twitter:

 

 

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