German biotechnology company CureVac would produce 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this year, co-founder of software company SAP and CureVac controlling shareholder Dietmar Hopp told the newspaper Handelsblatt in an interview on Friday.
A precise date for the market entry of the vaccine by CureVac would still depend on the results of clinical studies and final permission by regulatory authorities, said Hopp.
The completion of the phase 1 testing process of the vaccine was expected to be finished this year, according to Hopp. Data from the combined phase 2 and 3 study would be available during the course of next year.
“We are very confident,” stressed Hopp. “All results to date indicate good safety, tolerability and efficacy.” There was even the possibility of early approval for “particularly vulnerable professional groups or regions.”
Hopp acknowledged that the international race for first producer of a COVID-19 vaccine could not be won by the German company. Instead, CureVac focused on “good effectiveness” and “long-lasting vaccination protection at the lowest possible dosage” which would also lower production costs and the price.
Almost 15 years ago, Hopp first invested in CureVac, spending 20 million euros (23.7 million U.S. dollars) after founder Ingmar Hoerr convinced the German billionaire of the company’s future prospects. By now, Hopp’s investments in the biotechnology sector total more than 1.4 billion euros while the German company has reached a market value of around nine billion euros.
In June, the German government announced to invest 300 million euros in CureVac supporting the further development of the company and its projects in the pipeline.
Back then, Peter Altmaier, Minister of Economic Affairs and Energy, stressed that “CureVac’s technology has the potential to develop new vaccines and therapeutic modalities that are accessible for many people and available via the market.”
Looking back on his financial efforts over the years and the development of the industry, Hopp had “no doubts” that it was the right thing to invest in biotech, particularly in the case of CureVac.
“I feel joy, pure joy, not because the business pays off, but above all because we can help people with our work,” Hopp told the newspaper.