iStock/Vladimir Borovic

© iStock/Vladimir Borovic

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has announced additional funding worth €5 million to support the ‘Impfkraft’ (‘vaccine power’) project of the University of Tübingen. Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the project focused its energies on the development of a fully effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus, and has made some remarkable progress in this endeavour.

Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier said: “Combating the pandemic and its economic impact is my top priority. Innovative start-ups from Germany can make a particularly important contribution to the global fight against COVID-19. The world will need more than one vaccine candidate to defeat the virus.”

Established as a spin-off from the Department of Immunology at the University and University Hospital of Tübingen, the EXIST start-up Prime Vector Technologies will seek to ensure the completion of the vaccine, its licensing and market launch. The independent expert jury of the EXIST Research Transfer funding programme was convinced in particular by the results of the pre-clinical trials and by the fact that as many as nine vaccine candidates with excellent antibody results had been identified. Further trials will be conducted shortly as vaccine development advances.

An initial examination carried out by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, the federal agency responsible for licensing vaccines, has confirmed the positive results. Prime Vector Technologies is already in negotiation with other partners in order to pave the way for the rapid production of vaccines and to find international cooperation partners for upcoming clinical trials. The start-up is being assisted in this effort by German Accelerator, an initiative supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Trials outside Germany are important in order to assess the global effectiveness and efficiency of a vaccine and go ahead with global mass production.

Information on the Economic Affairs Ministry’s EXIST programme and German Accelerator South East Asia is available at and respectively.