German medical biotechnology broadens international cooperation

The German life sciences company CureVac has signed a strategic collaboration agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The accord provides for research, development, manufacture, and commercialization of as many as five messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that target the pathogens of infectious diseases.

Woman; Quelle: GettyImages/Martin-Barraud
© GettyImages/Martin-Barraud

Part of the deal involved the pharmaceutical giant GSK investing EUR 150 million in CureVac for a ten percent share in the Tübingen-based company. A global leader in mRNA technology and manufacturing, CureVac was first in the world to successfully use mRNA for medical purposes, including vaccines.

Meanwhile, Boston-based GSK will contribute its self-amplifying mRNA (SAM) vaccine technology platform to the effort. The President of GSK Vaccines, Roger Connor, explained, "GSK’s … (SAM) vaccine technology has shown us the potential of mRNA technology to advance the science of vaccine development, and CureVac’s experience complements our own expertise. Through the application of mRNA technology, including SAM, we hope to be able to develop and scale up advanced vaccines and therapies to treat and prevent infectious diseases quicker than ever before.”

CureVac's acting CEO, Dr. Franz-Werner Haas said, “We are delighted to partner with GSK. With this collaboration, we are gaining a world-class partner whose expertise and global footprint will allow us to further develop and translate the value of our platform into potential products for the world.”

Reports noted that CureVac's existing clinical development program for mRNA-vaccines against the novel corona virus and rabies were not part of the accord. At the same time, GSK is working with the French company Sanofi on a separate project to develop a COVID-19 vaccine as well.

The agreement demonstrates the innovative capabilities of the medical biotechnology sector in Germany and how these serve to make it an international player in pharmaceutical development and a generator of investment at home and abroad. The Export Initiative for the German Healthcare Industry, HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY, is the go-to source to learn more about this dynamic part of Germany's healthcare economy.

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