CureVac to build plant with Gates Foundation money

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

CureVac secured Gates Foundation backing
CureVac secured Gates Foundation backing

Related tags Boehringer ingelheim

CureVac will build a manufacturing facility for mRNA vaccines after a $52m (€46m)  Gates Foundation investment that also brings an IPO one step closer according to majority shareholder Dietmar Hopp.

The investment was announced today in addition to a Gates Foundation commitment to provide CureVac with funding to develop mRNA vaccines for several unspecified projects for viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases.

CureVac operates a clinical development facility in Tübingen.

A spokeswoman told that: "The new, additional facility will also be located in Tübingen" ​explaining that "the current manufacturing facility can produce 150k doses per year of 14 different products simultaneously.

"With the additional GMP production facility that the investment by the Gates Foundation enables, CureVac plans to scale this up to 30mm annual doses​" she said, adding that "It will thus be in a position to meet its clinical production and supply the commercial needs of the world market.​"

Work is expected to start on the plant next year and it is expected to be operational in 2018 or 2019.

Bill Gates said the backing was driven by CureVac’s tech, explaining that: “If we can teach the body to create its own natural defences, we can revolutionize the way we treat and prevent diseases​” adding that “technologies like mRNA give us confidence to place big bets for the future​.”


The Gates foundation was accompanied by news that longstanding CureVac backer Dietmar Hopp has agreed to stump up an additional $24m through his investment vehicle dievini Hopp BioTech, which holds a 90% stake in the firm.

Hopp told Germany’s​ that the Gates Foundation investment could also see CureVac go public.

A spokesman for dievini Hopp BioTech echoed this, telling us "deals like the Gates Foundation investment make IPOs more likely​."

He stressed, however, that while CureVac is considered "IPO-able​," no definite plans have been put in place. 

CureVac has deals with a number of drugmakers, including Janssen​, Boehringer Ingelheim​ and Sanofi Pasteur​.

The firm has also received a European Commission (EC) grant to develop room temperature-stable mRNA vaccines for use in countries where refrigeration is problematic.

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