FRANKFURT: The European Commission said on Monday (Mar 16) it offered up to 80 million euros (US$89 million) of financial support to CureVac to scale up development and production of a coronavirus vaccine in Europe.

The funding pledge comes one day after German government sources told Reuters that the Trump administration was looking in to how it could gain access to a potential vaccine being developed by the unlisted German firm, sparking a backlash in Berlin.

READ: US begins first human trial of coronavirus vaccine

“I am proud that we have leading companies like CureVac in the EU,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement on Monday. “Their home is here. But their vaccines will benefit everyone, in Europe and beyond.”

The support takes the form of an EU guarantee of a loan from the European Investment Bank that is currently being assessed.

Separately, CureVac said earlier on Monday its co-founder, Ingmar Hoerr, who was recently reappointed as chief executive, will be taking a temporary medical leave.

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