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Gates champions CureVac


German biotech CureVac racked up $100 million in new funding to advance vaccines based on its mRNA platform. In November, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined German billionaire Dietmar Hopp to back the University of Tubingen spin-off, which has now accrued $330 million. The venture syndicate included management firm Baillie Gifford, Chartwave Limited, Coppel Family, Elma Investments and Sigma Group. Tubingen-based CureVac uses natural, chemically unmodified mRNAs to develop a range of therapeutic and prophylactic vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases. Its most advanced candidate is in a phase 2b study in prostate cancer. The company is also exploring the platform to formulate molecular therapies that coax cells to produce their own protein therapeutics, an approach that has garnered close to a billion dollars for preclinical player Moderna Therapeutics. Earlier, in September, the German biotech opened operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In March, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invested $52 million in CureVac, one of the foundation's largest investments.

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Gates champions CureVac. Nat Biotechnol 34, 8 (2016).

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