Germany has reportedly reacted furiously to the Trump administration trying to buy exclusive rights to a coronavirus vaccine being developed by a German firm.
The Trump administration offered a "billion dollars" to secure exclusive rights to a coronavirus vaccine being developed by the biopharmaceutical firm CureVac, "but only for the USA," reported German newspaper Welt am Sonntag citing government sources.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas insisted on Sunday that the government would not allow President Donald Trump to push ahead with such a plan.
"German researchers play a leading role in drug and vaccine development, and we cannot allow others to seek exclusive results," he said.
The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said: "Germany is not for sale."
"The exclusive sale of a possible vaccine to the USA must be prevented by all means. Capitalism has limits," tweeted Karl Lauterbach, a senior German politician and professor of health economics and epidemiology,
US officials on Sunday said that the report was "wildly overplayed" and denied any vaccine would be exclusive to the them.
"We will continue to talk to any company that claims to be able to help, and any solution found would be shared with the world."
CureVac Chief Production Officer Florian von der Muelbe said that the company hoped to have an experimental vaccine ready by June or July so it could seek permission to start testing on humans. He said a low-dose vaccine that the company hoped to develop could make it suitable for mass production within the firm's existing facilities.
Outgoing CEO of CureVac, Daniel Menichella had been invited to the White House for a meeting with US President Donald Trump last week. They discussed strategies and opportunities for the production of a coronavirus vaccine.
"We are very confident that we will be able to develop a potent vaccine candidate within a few months," Menichella said in a statement.
CureVac denied "rumors of an acquisition" in a statement on Sunday.
The firm said it had been in contact with many organizations and global authorities but "abstains from commenting on speculations and rejects allegations about offers for the acquisition of the company or its technology."