German biotech company CureVac on Tuesday denied an offer from the United States to buy the company or its assets, which it is developing for a coronavirus vaccine after reports that the U.S. was trying to obtain it. Eu leaders will hold a video conference on Tuesday to discuss how to avoid a hostile U.S. takeover of advanced companies such as the European Union’s research on coronavirus medicine and vaccines, officials said.
Media reports of the US’s attempt to obtain the vaccine have caused a stir in German politics, with Peter Altmaier, Germany’s economy minister, and Horst Seehofer, the interior minister, both vocally supporting the keeping of CureVac in Germany.
News of the US offer to buy was first revealed by Germany’s Sunday World newspaper, german government sources confirmed to Reuters. But Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, tweeted that the German newspaper Le Monde was not reporting.
CureVac tried to play it down on Tuesday.
“There are no offers from the U.S. that are related to the acquisition, there is no offer to reserve production arrangements exclusively,” Franz-Werner Haas, acting chief executive of CureVac, told reporters on a conference call.
CureVac has said the experimental vaccine will be completed in June or July, when it will seek regulatory approval for human trials; the company has the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (Complete)