TESLA & BIOTECH CUREVAC COVID VACCINE TECH
TESLA & CureVac of Germany - Could It Be a Gamechanger?
Tesla, the world's top electric vehicle manufacturer, is working with a German biotech CureVac to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. CEO Elon Musk says, as a side project, he's building RNA microfactories for CureVac and possibly for other vaccine research groups. On Twitter, Musk has said synthetic RNA has "amazing potential" as an approach to immunizing patients against COVID-19.
CureVac is one of only 18 drug companies around the world with COVID-19 vaccine candidates in clinical testing. The company is working with so-called messenger mRNA, which deliver instructions from DNA to the body's protein makers - ribosomes. CureVac's approach is to customize mRNA to command ribosomes to make proteins that fight specific diseases like COVID or create antibodies to fight them. Several other drug companies including Moderna and Pfizer are taking a similar approach using mRNA to develop vaccine candidates.
The microfactories Musk is building are prototypes of mRNA printers. These printers would enable the manufacture of 100,000 doses within weeks. Experts think the mRNA printers could be a gamechanger for quick vaccine delivery. The technology could even be placed in hospital pharmacies for fast turnaround. CureVac also has a manufacturing facility in Tubingen, Germany that can produce several hundred million doses a year. Tesla is specifically working on building CureVac's mobile mRNA printers through its Tesla Grohmann Automation facility in Germany. This is yet another fascinating project taken on by entrepreneur Elon Musk to meet a pressing global need.