Minister Altmaier and State Secretary Nussbaum in a video conference with CureVac executives Dietmar Hopp and Franz-Werner Haas.

Minister Altmaier and State Secretary Nussbaum in a video conference with CureVac executives Dietmar Hopp and Franz-Werner Haas.

© BMWi/Susanne Eriksson

  • The principal shareholder of CureVac, the dievini Hopp BioTech holding, and the Federal Government agree on a pivotal investment to be made, for the first time, in a company in the innovative biotechnology sector
  • The Federal Republic of Germany is set to acquire a direct shareholding through the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau)
  • CureVac, an mRNA company, remains independent in its corporate decisions; the Federal Government has no say in business decisions
  • This is also a key step towards implementing the Economic Stimulus and Future Technologies Package adopted by the Federal Government on 3 June 2020 to speed up the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Live-stream press statement at 12:30 pm, available on the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

BERLIN/WALLDORF, Germany – June 15, 2020 – Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier and Dietmar Hopp, co-founder of SAP and of the investment company dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG, today announced that the Federal Republic of Germany will invest 300 million euros in the biopharmaceutical company CureVac AG, a pioneer which spearheads the pre-clinical and clinical development of mRNA-based drugs.

A draft contract was approved which contains the details of the investment to be implemented by the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau). The funds to be raised through a capital increase will be used to further develop the proprietary pipeline and mRNA platform technology and to expand the company's business operations. KfW will acquire a stake of around 23 percent in CureVac.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said: "CureVac's technology has the potential to develop new vaccines and therapeutic treatments for many people and make them available on the market. The German government is participating in this promising company because it hopes this will accelerate developments and provide CureVac with the necessary financial resources to be able to exploit the potential held by its technology. At the same time, this is of great importance in terms of industrial policy because we need these important research results and technologies in Germany and Europe. At the same time, we are today taking a first and important step towards implementing the comprehensive Economic Stimulus and Future Technologies Package which the Federal Government adopted on 3 June 2020. This package sets forth our goal of achieving greater independence in the production of active ingredients and their precursors, and in the production of vaccines. The investment we are about to make is a first step in this direction.”

Dietmar Hopp, main shareholder of CureVac AG, made the following comment: "Through my investment company dievini, I have been very strongly committed to the development of novel and innovative therapies and processes in German biotechnology since 2005. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the outstanding relevance and major significance of the biotechnology sector for patients, our society and the world as a whole. I am pleased that the importance of biotechnology is also being recognised by the government and that it is supporting this key industry beyond early research. CureVac is just one example of the early and outstanding forward-looking commercial biotech innovations coming from Germany. It is a world-leading mRNA company with huge potential for the development of vaccines, including for COVID-19, but also for many other infectious diseases and for therapies and treatments in other indications. We at dievini were convinced early on of the vast potential of mRNA technology and of CureVac."

Adding to this, Dr Franz-Werner Haas, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of CureVac, said: "We are very pleased to have the Federal Republic of Germany and dievini at our side as strong and reliable partners. The substantial support they are providing allows us to expand our financial reach and stability for the continued development of our mRNA platform, the development and production of further mRNA vaccines and drugs, and the strategic expansion of our company. At the same time, this agreement enables us to maintain our full entrepreneurial scope for action."

Information
The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy plans to release a press statement together with dievini and CureVac today at 12:30 pm, which will be transmitted via live stream:
www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Livestream/20200615-Pressestatement/videostream.html (in German)

Shortly after the press statement, you will also be able to access the video and sound file online:

Video file with sign language interpretation:
www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Videos/2020/20200615-mitschnitt-pressestatement.html (in German)

Audio file:
www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/DE/Audios/20200615-mitschnitt-pressestatement.html (in German)

About dievini
dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG is an investment company owned by SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp with a focus on innovative biotechnology companies. dievini has holdings in a total of ten companies – seven in Germany, two in Switzerland, one in Italy – almost all of which develop diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines for serious diseases such as cancer, bacterial and viral infections and neurodegenerative diseases on the basis of profound molecular scientific knowledge and technologies. Since 2005, dievini has held a stake in CureVac AG, Tübingen and now holds over 80% of the shares.

About CureVac AG
CureVac is a leading biopharmaceutical company in the field of mRNA (messenger RNA) technology. Based on its 20 years of experience, CureVac is working to develop and optimise this versatile molecule for medical use, and to test it in clinical trials. The principle behind CureVac's proprietary technology is to use mRNA to carry information that will prompt the human body to produce appropriately encoded proteins that can help combat a variety of diseases. The company applies its technologies to the development of cancer therapies, antibody therapies, prophylactic vaccines and the treatment of rare diseases. CureVac has received significant equity investments, including from dievini Hopp BioTech holding and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. CureVac also collaborates with multinational corporations and organisations such as Boehringer Ingelheim, Eli Lilly & Co, Genmab, CRISPR Therapeutics, CEPI and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. CureVac is headquartered in Tübingen, Germany, with additional offices in Frankfurt, Germany, and Boston, MA, USA. Further information can be found at www.curevac.com or on Twitter at @CureVacAG.

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Media contact for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Dr Beate Baron, Press Officer for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Tel.: +49 30 18 615 7667
beate.baron@bmwi.bund.de

Media contact for dievini
Katja Arnold, MC Services AG
Tel.: +49 (0)89 210 228 40
dievini@mc-services.eu

Media Contact for CureVac
Thorsten Schüller, Corporate Communications
CureVac AG, Tübingen, Germany
Tel.: +49 7071 9883-1577
thorsten.schueller@curevac.com