The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is throwing its weight behind CureVac, a German biotech working to transform patients' cells into drug factories, committing $52 million in hopes of crafting vaccines for the developing world.
The sum, which marks the foundation's largest equity investment, will support CureVac's work on messenger RNA (mRNA) therapies that spur the production of human proteins within patient cells, potentially treating disease from inside the body. In tandem with the Gates Foundation's move, long-standing CureVac backer dievini Hopp BioTech, founded by billionaire Dietmar Hopp, is committing an additional $24 million in equity.
Now, with the foundation's backing and an infusion of cash, CureVac is working to advance its mRNA platform, earmarking some of the funds for the construction of an industrial-scale manufacturing facility that can crank out the complicated therapeutics. Separately, the Gates Foundation has promised undisclosed additional cash to support work on mRNA-based vaccines for viral, bacterial and parasitic infectious diseases, beginning with rotavirus and HIV.