The German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, and SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp—who also happens to have co-founded an investment house called dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. KG, announced that the Federal Republic of Germany will invest 300 million Euros in the biopharmaceutical company CureVac AG, a pioneer in the preclinical and clinical development of mRNA-based drugs. German biotech industrial policy heats up and that spells competition for others.
What follows is a brief breakdown of the current events in the world at the intersection of money, drugs and political power in Deutschland.
What are these investments for?
These funds will be utilized by CureVac for the further development of the Company’s proprietary pipeline and mRNA platform technology and the expansion of business activities.
Who is Kreditanstalt fur Widerraufbau and why do they have a 23% stake?
They are a German state-owned development bank. Formerly known as KfW Bankengruppe, they are based in Frankfurt, which is the financial capital of Germany. This institution was formed in 1948 right after World War II as part of the Marshall Plan. By last year, they were German’s third largest bank by balance sheet. See their link.
Was CureVac the company that Donald Trump’s White House invited for talk about U.S. government investments and potential exclusivity for America?
Yes, and the German company rejected the U.S. overture.
Is this further evidence of some move away from global or regional economic structures and more toward national industrial policy such as in Biotech?
Yes, it would appear so as there is mention in the press release of industrial policy for Germany and Europe.
What is the Corona Economic Stimulus and Future Technologies Package?
Agreed upon by the Federal Government on June 3, 2020, it is a 50 billion Euro stimulus package. With this package, the German government aims to secure more independence in the entire production process of medical substances and vaccines. This investment represents the first step in this effort.
What is the relevance of Dietmar Hopp?
He is a billionaire, founder of SAP and investor in CureVac and many other investments. He has been an active supporter of the development of novel and innovative therapies and processes in German biotechnology. He noted that with the advent of COVID-19, the importance of the biotech sector is as great as now as ever.