Biotech companies working on a corona vaccine are dependent on a lot of fresh capital from investors in order to be able to finance the research costs. The same is true of the Tübingen-based company Curevac, which is why it dares to go public.
New York – The Tübingen-based biotech company Curevac will start trading on the New York stock exchange on Friday to raise money for the development of its corona vaccine. Around 150 million dollars (almost 130 million euros) are estimated from the proceeds. According to the prospectus, the short-term production capacity will be expanded with another 50 million dollars. The main investor of Curevac, SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp, will retain control after the IPO.
In the search for a vaccine against Sars-CoV-2, Curevac is one of several bearers of hope worldwide – and not the only one who is raising fresh money on the stock market for it. On Thursday, the shares of the Chinese company Cansino, already listed in Hong Kong, also started in Shanghai – and the price doubled at times.
Curevac’s IPO on the Nasdaq technology exchange is expected to bring in around $ 245 million. Hopp also wants to buy shares for $ 100 million. After the share placement, Hopp’s Dievini company, which was previously the majority owner, will hold almost 50 percent of the shares. The stately promotional bank KfW then comes in at just under 17 percent and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline at a good 8 percent.
Raised around 560 million euros from investors
In a recently completed financing round, Curevac had already raised around 560 million euros from investors. Among them was the federal government, which announced KfW’s investment for 300 million euros in June. The aim was therefore also to prevent a possible takeover from abroad in the race for a corona vaccine. According to the federal government, the initiative came from the company. The Qatar sovereign wealth fund and GlaxoSmithKline also appeared as investors. The British company is one of the leading vaccine groups in Europe.
At the beginning of March, US President Donald Trump invited then Curevac boss Dan Menichella and other pharmaceutical representatives to the White House to find out about the vaccine search. Shortly afterwards there was a stir about the Baden-Württemberg company: According to media reports, Trump tried to secure the vaccine exclusively for his country and offered a large amount for it, which caused outrage. However, Hopp vehemently rejected both a sale and an exclusive production for Trump. Then the federal government got involved.