The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is investing $52 million in German biotech CureVac in what is reportedly its largest ever equity investment.

Alongside a $24 million injection from long-term investor dievini Hopp BioTech, the funds will support continued development of CureVac’s platform technology and the construction of an industrial scale Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) production facility for its proprietary messenger RNA-based products.

Under the agreement, the Foundation has also promised separate funding for several projects to develop prophylactic vaccines based on the mRNA platform, which it notes allows for rapid, low-cost production of multiple drugs and vaccines that are thermostable, thereby addressing a key challenge in their supply. 

The terms also state that any Foundation-funded products will be made available by CureVac at an affordable price in poor countries, and CureVac will be able to merchandise each Gates-funded product in developed countries on its own, through licensees or a combination of both.