2020-08-18| COVID-19IPO

CureVac Shares Catapult 494% Following Successful IPO Debut

by Rajaneesh K. Gopinath
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The Tübingen-based biotech firm which is one of the eight big startups in Europe in terms of funding, went public last week at $16 per common share and has been soaring since.

By Rajaneesh K. Gopinath, Ph.D.

CureVac is a clinical-stage German biopharma that develops mRNA-based transformative medicines. However, presently the company is globally known for its potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Last week, it announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 13,333,333 common shares for a total of $213.3 million at $16 apiece and began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker “CVAC” from August 14th. Since then, its shares have more than quadrupled, hitting a high of $95 on Monday before settling at $71.6 at the close. The offering is expected to close on August 18th.

CureVac is backed by several big names, including billionaires such as Microsoft Founder, Bill Gates, and Dietmar Hopp, the co-founder of SAP. Besides, it had also signed a manufacturing agreement with Elon Musk’s Tesla back in 2015. Last June, the German federal government invested $343 million in the company acknowledging the promise of its products. Other notable stakeholders include GlaxoSmithKline and the Qatar Investment Authority.

In June, CureVac became the second company in Germany after its rival BioNTech to launch human trials for its mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Although the vaccine is anticipated to hit the market by mid-2021, on Sunday, CEO Franz-Werner Haas said that the company does not rule out a speedy approval process.

“We are not ruling out accelerated approval, but this can only be achieved in close cooperation with the authorities,” Haas told the Boerse Online financial website.

In another interview with the German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Hass mentioned that the minimum price of the vaccine would be in the range of 10 to 15 euros. However, he mentioned that they are currently in talks with different governments, meaning that the price might differ for each country.

“We see a deeper and broader understanding in the United States that the mRNA technology we use has the potential to quickly develop an effective and efficient vaccine,” Haas said when asked about their proprietary technology. Although CureVac faces fierce competition from Moderna and BioNTech who is currently leading the race with their mRNA-based vaccines in late-stage trials, Haas says the global demand would create room for several vaccine manufacturers. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if their vaccine comes later than its rivals.

Related Article: COVID-19 Vaccine: Russia Announces Approval of “Sputnik V” Despite Concerns Over Safety



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