Bayer aims to help CureVac with COVID-19 vaccine output, says CEO - Metro US

Bayer aims to help CureVac with COVID-19 vaccine output, says CEO

FILE PHOTO: Bayer CEO Werner Baumann addresses the company's annual results news conference

BERLIN (Reuters) – German pharmaceutical giant Bayer is examining whether it can help CureVac to produce its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, its chief executive was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Though inoculation campaigns have started around the world using various COVID-19 vaccines, many countries say their ability to get shots into arms is being limited by lower than expected supplies owing to a shortage of production.

“We are prepared to pull out all the stops for this,” Werner Baumann told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

“This is not primarily about financial considerations but about making the vaccine available as quickly as possible.”

Bayer agreed this month to help fellow German company CureVac with development of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which is in late-stage clinical trials and has not yet been approved.

Baumann said the drugmaker was “intensively examining” whether to expand its co-operation to include manufacturing the vaccine for CureVac.

“With our production network in Germany and the USA and the corresponding lead time, we would in principle be in a position to produce vaccine in larger quantities,” he said.

On Friday U.S. drugmaker Pfizer said there would be a temporary slowdown of shipments of the vaccine it developed with German partner BioNTech, citing changes in manufacturing processes to boost output.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by David Goodman)

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