April 25, 2020 / 2:13 PM / a month ago

German biotech firm working on COVID-19 vaccines rejects takeover approaches

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of biopharmaceutical company BioNTech are seen in Mainz, Germany July 31, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - German biotech company BioNTech, which has approval for human trials of potential coronavirus vaccines, has lately received several approaches about a possible takeover but has rejected them, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

BioNTech chief Ugur Sahin said the company had been approached by several players in the industry, Welt am Sonntag newspaper quoted him as saying, without identifying any of the potential interested parties.

“Takeovers are out of the question for the majority shareholders and for us anyway. Our vision is to build a biopharmaceutical company that addresses the medical needs of the 21st century,” Sahin told the newspaper.

A BioNTech spokeswoman confirmed the content of the interview.

Earlier this week, shares in BioNTech soared after Germany gave the green light for human trials of potential coronavirus vaccines it is developing with Pfizer.

BioNTech said it was developing four vaccine candidatesunder a programme with Pfizer named BNT162 in what is the fourth trial worldwide of a vaccine targeting the virus.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by David Holmes

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