New York (CNN Business)The race for a successful coronavirus vaccine is heating up in labs around the world — and on Wall Street. Germany’s CureVac, a biotech with the backing of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, more than tripled in its first day of trading Friday.

CureVac priced its initial public offering at $16 a share. The stock soared nearly 250%, to just below $56, by the end of the day.

The company, which is competing with the likes of Moderna (MRNA), Novavax (NVAX), BioNTech (BNTX) and Pfizer (PFE), is also backed by billionaire Dietmar Hopp, the co-founder of German software giant SAP (SAP).

Hopp owns nearly half of CureVac. The German government and Big Pharma leader GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) also have big stakes.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charitable arm of the multibillionaire Microsoft (MSFT) co-founder and his wife, invested $40 million in the company in 2015.

CureVac recently received approval from the governments of Germany and Belgium to start clinical trials for one of its vaccines for Covid-19.

The company generated €17.4 million ($20.6 million) in revenue in 2019, an increase of 35% from the prior year. It is not yet profitable.

CureVac also has another big name in its roster of partners: the firm is working on technology with Elon Musk’s electric car giant Tesla (TSLA). The company has had a development and intellectual property agreement with Tesla since November 2015, according to its regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Musk tweeted last month that Tesla’s German Grohmann division is helping build molecule printers for CureVac — a “side project” that may work with other drug companies.

CureVac is one of several biotechs that has attracted attention from the Trump administration as well. The company denied published reports earlier this year that President Trump was seeking to get some of the company’s German scientists to come to the United States to work on a vaccine.

Hopp has not ruled out the possibility of the company working more closely with the US, though.

He said in March that CureVac is “committed to the goal of protecting all people from infections and improving therapies for patients worldwide” and added that the company’s intention is to create “sustainable innovative infrastructure and jobs in Germany.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Working parents face backlash

Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in CNN’s Work Transformed newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free, here. The pandemic has put a strain on workers across the board — and now things appear…

The Federal Reserve’s War on Unemployment Is Far from Over

The Federal Reserve’s task is to maintain price stability and sustain maximum employment. It has enjoyed more success with the latter in recent days. Recent employment gains of more than two hundred thousand jobs per month are impressive, though given…

Stocks, oil hit by China virus fears, safe havens gain

LONDON (Reuters) – World shares fell to their lowest in two weeks on Monday as worries grew about the economic impact of China’s spreading coronavirus with demand spiking for safe-haven assets such as Japanese yen and Treasury notes. The death…

Airbnb bans parties in COVID-19 fight

(Reuters) – No more parties and events in homes listed on Airbnb, the short-term home rental company said on Thursday as it tries to enforce strict social-distancing norms to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The new rules include a cap on…