Reuters - Tesla Inc is building mobile molecule printers to help make the potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by CureVac in Germany, the electric-car maker’s Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, tweeted on Wednesday.
CureVac, an unlisted German company, has said it is developing portable, automated mRNA production units that it calls printers and which Musk described as “RNA microfactories”.
They are being designed to be shipped to remote locations, where they can churn out its vaccine candidate and other mRNA-based therapies depending on the recipe fed into the machine.
But for the immediate pandemic use - should its vaccine candidate win market approval – it has production sites with regulatory approval in Germany with a capacity to produce hundreds of millions of doses.
The company, based in Tuebingen and backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a pioneer of the so-called messenger RNA approach, which is also pursued by BioNTech and its partner Pfizer as well as Moderna.
Musk did not elaborate on his plans. Tesla and CureVac were not immediately available to comment.
Musk, who is known to make impromptu announcements on Twitter, had in March said that Tesla has extra FDA-approved ventilators that can be shipped free of cost to hospitals within regions where the electric-car maker delivers.
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With a single discovery, CureVac opened the world up to the potential of mRNA to treat diseases and create vaccines. Officially founded in 2000, CureVac is the world’s first company to successfully harness mRNA for medical purposes—because we saw opportunities where others saw obstacles. Today, we’re more than 400 passionate people strong, each one committed to using the clinical potential of our proprietary mRNA technology to provide tailored solutions for those with the greatest medical needs.