The German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, and Dietmar Hopp, SAP co-founder and co-founder of the investment company dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG, announced today that the Federal Republic of Germany will invest 300 million Euros in the biopharmaceutical company CureVac AG, a pioneer in the preclinical and clinical development of mRNA-based drugs.
This is a joint press release of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy and dievini Hopp Biotech holding.A list of questions and answers regarding the investment of the German Federal Government can be found at the bottom of this page.
Details of the investment, which will be made by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), have been laid out in a definitive draft agreement. The funds from the capital increase will be used by CureVac for the further development of the Company’s proprietary pipeline and mRNA platform technology and the expansion of business activities. Under the agreement, the KfW will hold a stake of around 23 percent in CureVac.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, says: “CureVac’s technology has the potential to develop disruptive new vaccines and therapeutic modalities that are accessible for many people and available via the market. The German Federal government has decided to invest in this promising company because it expects that this will accelerate the development programs and provide the means for CureVac to harness the full potential of its technology. This is also of high importance for industrial policy as we in Germany and Europe need these essential research results and technologies. At the same time, today’s move is a first and important implementation of the comprehensive Corona Economic Stimulus and Future Technologies Package, which was agreed on by the Federal Government on 03 June 2020. With this package, we aim to secure more independence in the entire production process of medical substances and vaccines. This investment is a first step in this direction.”
Dietmar Hopp, main shareholder of CureVac AG, comments: “Since 2005, through my investment company dievini, I have been a very active supporter of the development of novel and innovative therapies and processes in German biotechnology. The coronavirus crisis has made the great relevance and significance of the biotechnology industry for patients, our society, and the world apparent. I am pleased that the importance of biotechnology is also recognized by the government and that this key industry now will receive support beyond early research. CureVac is just one of the early and outstanding examples of visionary entrepreneurial biotech innovation from Germany. The Company is a global leader in mRNA technology with great potential for vaccines – for example, against COVID-19, but also many other infectious diseases, as well as for novel therapeutic modalities in other indications. We at dievini were convinced early on of the immense potential CureVac’s mRNA technology holds for the future.”
Dr. Franz-Werner Haas, acting Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of CureVac AG, adds: “We are very excited that, with the Federal Republic of Germany and dievini, we have such strong and reliable partners at our side. This strong financial commitment provides us further cash reach and stability for the accelerated development of our mRNA platform, the development and production of our current and additional mRNA vaccine and drug candidates, as well as the strategic expansion of our organization. At the same time we will retain full operational and strategic independence.“
dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG is a holding company of SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp with an investment focus on innovative biotechnology companies. dievini holds investments in ten companies – seven in Germany, two in Switzerland, one in Italy – almost all of which are developing diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines against serious diseases such as cancer, bacterial and viral infections, and neurodegenerative disorders based on deep clinical-molecular expertise and novel therapeutic approaches. dievini has been a shareholder of CureVac AG, Tübingen, Germany, since 2005 and holds over 80% of the company’s shares.
About CureVac AG
CureVac is a leading clinical stage biotechnology company in the field of messenger RNA (mRNA) technology with 20 years of expertise in developing and optimizing this versatile molecule for medical purposes. The principle of CureVac's proprietary technology is the use of mRNA as a data carrier to instruct the human body to produce its own proteins capable of fighting a wide range of diseases. The company applies its technologies for the development of cancer therapies, antibody therapies, the treatment of rare diseases, and prophylactic vaccines. CureVac has received significant investments, amongst others from dievini Hopp BioTech holding and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. CureVac has also entered into collaborations with multinational corporations and organizations, including CEPI, Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly & Co, Genmab, CRISPR Therapeutics, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and others. CureVac is headquartered in Tübingen, Germany with sites in Frankfurt and Boston, USA. For more information, please visit www.curevac.com or follow us on Twitter at @CureVacAG.
Questions and Answers on the Investment of the German Federal Government in CureVac
How high is the investment?
KfW invests EUR 300 million in CureVac.
What conditions are attached to the contract?
This is subject to completion of definitive agreements. CureVac retains its full entrepreneurial freedom.
What do both parties expect from this participation?
The financial support serves the further development of the company and its pipeline projects.
Is the participation tantamount to nationalization?
No. It is a pure equity investment. CureVac retains full entrepreneurial freedom.
Does the German Government secure exclusive rights for your coronavirus vaccine?
No. Of course, we will supply the Federal Republic of Germany with our vaccine when it is fully developed. In general, however, our goal is to help as many people worldwide as possible.
What is CureVac going to do with the money of German Government?
We will invest the money primarily in the expansion of the company and our mRNA technology platform as well as the pipeline of our product candidates.
Are you planning further financial rounds?
Biotech is always looking at financing opportunities. We are grateful to have a new long-term shareholder in the company.
Who else is invested in CureVac?
Among others the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and special funds.