German biopharma company CureVac embarks on first trial for vaccine

German biopharmaceutical company CureVac on Thursday started its first clinical trial for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus.

The trial, which is being conducted at the University of Tuebingen, includes more than 100 test subjects aged between 18 and 60.

Scientists are trying to ascertain human tolerance towards the vaccine, as well as the human body’s immune response to it, according to the professor in charge of the trial, Peter Kremsner.

The news comes just three days after the German government announced it was acquiring a 300-million-euro (337-million-dollar) stake in CureVac.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said the acquisition was a bid by the German government to gain more independence from other countries in terms of access to a coronavirus vaccine.

Attempts by the US government to acquire CureVac – which were never formally confirmed by the White House – made international headlines in March and unleashed a political backlash in Germany.

Media reports said the United States had offered 1 billion dollars for exclusive rights to a vaccine that the company is developing.

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