Qatar Investment Authority takes stake in vaccine-maker CureVac
CureVac raises $126 mln from QIA, other investors
Declines to comment on size of QIA's stake
Follows German govt, GSK financing and EIB loan
Adds no comment from QIA
BERLIN, July 21 (Reuters) - German biotech company CureVac said Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has taken an undisclosed stake in the firm as part of a $126 million financing round, the latest high-profile investor to come onboard ahead of a potential stock market listing.
Tuesday's announcement is the fourth injection of funding in two months and comes just a day after British pharmaceutical company GSK GSK.L bought a 10% stake in return for a $171 million investment.
The German government also made a $343 million investment in June in return for a 23% holding in the firm, taking the total investment from a private financing round to $640 million, CureVac said.
The Tuebingen-based company, which is backed by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates, also secured a 75 million euro ($85.79 million) loan from the European Investment Bank earlier this month.
CureVac said the $126 million was raised from QIA and a group of existing and new investors. A spokesman declined to say how much came from QIA or give details on the size of the Qatari stake.
QIA declined to comment.
CureVac is a pioneer in the so-called messenger RNA approach for developing vaccines and monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for infectious diseases.
mRNA vaccines use ribonucleic acid (RNA), a chemical messenger that evinces an immune response when injected by instructing cells to make proteins that mimic pathogens.
The approach, also being deployed in experimental COVID-19 vaccines by BioNTech and partner Pfizer PFE.N and Moderna MRNA.O, is yet to be approved in any therapy.
CureVac is planning a stock market listing in September or October, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.
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(Reporting by Caroline Copley and Hans Seidenstuecker, Additional reporting by Davide Barbuscia; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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