Feb 3, 2021

German pharma firm Bayer to produce CureVac COVID-19 vaccine

Bayer
CureVac
Covidvaccine
Manufacturing
Kate Birch
2 min
With the aim of bolstering coranavirus vaccine manufacturing in Europe, Bayer AG commits to manufacturing CureVac’s experimental mRNA COVID-19 vaccine
With the aim of bolstering coranavirus vaccine manufacturing in Europe, Bayer AG commits to manufacturing CureVac’s experimental mRNA COVID-19 vaccine...

In a joint statement with the German Health Minister and CureVac’s CEO, Bayer AG has announced it will produce CureVac NV’s experimental coronavirus vaccine, which is currently in late-stage testing.

The global pharmaceutical giant, based in Germany, stated that following discussions with the German government, it had become clear that current manufacturing capacities for vaccines needed to be increased and particularly potential variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

This announcement follows a week of chaos and controversy surrounding the European Union’s vaccination programme, which is running out of supplies fast.

Bayer has skills to manufacture vaccine

While Bayer has not previously produced vaccines, the company boasts strong expertise in the development of biotech products and has been assessing its ability to further contribute with end-to-end manufacturing since the initiation of its alliance with CureVac, based in Tübingen, Germany.

According to the President of Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division, Stefan Oelrich, Bayer has “the necessary skills and capabilities at Bayer to manufacture CureVac’s mRNA-based vaccine” and the first commercial products could be available year-end.  

Bayer will provide an additional 160 million doses of CureVac’s vaccine in 2022 to further expand their supply network and overall capacity using the manufacturing network of Bayer.

Bayer and CureVac’s ongoing alliance

This production announcement extends Bayer’s ongoing alliance with CureVac with Bayer providing support in the development, supply and key territory operations of CureVac’s vaccine candidate.

Bayer provides CureVac with “its expertise and established infrastructure in areas such as clinical operations, regulatory affairs, pharmacovigilance, medical information, supply chain management as well as support with country operations within the EU and selected additional markets,” adds Oelrich.

CureVac has also agreed a deal with Rentschler Biopharma SE, a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization for biopharmaceuticals, to set-up manufacturing capabilities for CureVac´s vaccine CVnCoV.

Rentschler Biopharma is gearing up for largescale production in Laupheim, Germany, with a view to producing more than 100 million doses of the vaccine per year.

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Tapoly
Insurance
Leadership
Digital
Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.

Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills. 

What do you do, in a nutshell?

I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.

How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?

I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.

They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?

The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. 

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.

 

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