Germany’s Finance Minister Heiko Maas asserted that the rights to coronavirus vaccine research are not for sale after the reports of US President Donald Trump wanting to buy exclusive access to a potential coronavirus vaccine developed by a German biotech firm emerged. Speaking to a German media group Funke, the foreign minister said that the researchers play a leading role in drug and vaccine development and the administration cannot allow others to seek exclusive results.
Earlier, local media reports suggested that Trump had offered “a billion dollars” to secure exclusive rights over the research into a vaccine by German biotech firm CureVac. The company, in a statement, abstained from commenting on “speculations” and rejected the “rumours” of acquisition saying it is focussed on the development of mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine to protect people worldwide.
“Based on its inherent mode of action, CureVac sees mRNA as one of the most potent molecules to provide fast and efficient solutions in outbreak scenarios, such like the Coronavirus (sic),” the biotech firm.
Last week, CureVac CEO Daniel Menichella was succeeded by the company founder Ingmar Hoerr days after the former met discussed vaccine development with US President Donald Trump and members of White House Coronavirus Taskforce. Hoerr thanked Menichella on behalf of Supervisory Board for “great contributions” for CureVac in recent years but no concrete reason for the replacement was provided.
Germany has started taking exceptional measure to combat the virus including the push for the vaccine development. In a bid to provide assurance to businesses, Germany promised “unlimited” stimulus to companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic as a part of the help package worth at least 550 billion euros.
In a televised address on March 13, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz tried to highlight the most important message from the government saying there is no upper limit to the credit offered by KfW, the state-owned development bank. Scholz said the federal government will do everything possible to combat the crisis and steer the country well through this difficult time.