Germany will take a stake in unlisted biotech firm CureVac, which is working on a Covid-19 vaccine, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Monday, confirming an earlier Reuters report.
Altmaier said the German government would acquire a 23 percent stake in the company for 300 million euros (£269 million).
The move followed reported attempts by the US government to acquire CureVac or its assets in March, which stirred a backlash in Berlin, with Altmaier and the interior minister voicing support for keeping CureVac German.
Altmaier said that the government wanted to strengthen the life sciences and biotech sectors in Germany and that Berlin would not have any influence over CureVac's business strategy.
"The German Federal government has decided to invest in this promising company because it expects that this will accelerate development programmes and provide the means for CureVac to harness the full potential of its technology," he told a new conference.
Reuters reported about the German plan to take a stake in CureVac earlier on Monday.
Reflecting the sensitivity about ownership of the country's two coronavirus vaccine developers - CureVac and BioNTech - Berlin in May gave itself new powers to veto hostile foreign takeover bids for healthcare companies.