Two German biotechs, BioNTech and CureVac, have been at the cutting edge of the hunt for a COVID-19 vaccine—a time-consuming and costly process. In order to get both over the finish line, the German government is making a big investment in both candidates' development.
The German government has awarded the mRNA-based vaccine makers a combined $745 million to drive development of their respective COVID-19 candidates.
BioNTech, which has partnered with Pfizer to bring two versions from its BNT162 vaccine program to late-stage clinical trials, scored $445 million from Germany on Tuesday, according to a release.
The milestone-based funding will help BioNTech advance its vaccine candidates through clinical trials and regulatory approvals, the German biotech said. One version of BNT162 is currently in phase 3 human testing and is aiming for regulatory approval as soon as October.
Meanwhile, CureVac received its $299 million in German funding earlier this month. Based on the government's predetermined milestones, CureVac expects to snare $122 million of that total by the end of the year.
Germany's big investment in those two programs comes as Pfizer and BioNTech are looking to push their candidate through regulatory approval in a month's time.