Tolu is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Lagos. He likes to demystify crypto stories to the bare basics so that anyone anywhere can understand without too much background knowledge. When he's not neck-deep in crypto stories, Tolu enjoys music, loves to sing and is an avid movie lover.
Tesla and CureVac are currently working together to build portable RNA printers which would help in the creation of a coronavirus vaccine.
As it continues to blaze the trail in the global auto manufacturing industry, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) is looking at biting a chunk of the biotech sector. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the company has entered a partnership to create a vaccine for the dreaded coronavirus.
Taking to Twitter as is usual of him, Musk announced that Tesla was already in partnership with CureVac and possibly other biotech companies. The CEO says Tesla is building RNA microfactories “as a side project for these companies”, in addition to his faith in synthetic Ribonucleic Acid (RNA).
Tesla, as a side project, is building RNA microfactories for CureVac & possibly others
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 2, 2020
Musk’s tweet came in response to a question about the CEO’s thoughts on the RNA approach to creating a coronavirus vaccine. However, the conversation began with a tweet, which revealed that there were 640,000 COVID tests on June 25 alone. Musk also added that the high rate of testing has resulted in many false positives. According to the CEO, false-positive results could be up to 50% of all tests.
Microfactories for Tesla Coronavirus Vaccine
Tesla and CureVac will set up the microfactories in Germany. Construction will take place at the Tesla Grohmann Automation company, which focuses on building the automaker’s fuel cells and batteries.
By “microfactories”, Musk refers to mobile printers that CureVac intends to use for its COVID-19 vaccines. The printers will be capable of creating vaccine candidates based on synthetic mRNA. The mRNA works after insertion into human cells, to create specific antibodies for the coronavirus. The same technology may be used for other diseases such as Yellow Fever and Lassa Fever.
In a bid to facilitate the manufacturing of the vaccine, CureVac has obtained an investment of more than $300million from the German government. The investment has helped put production in motion, leading up to the partnership with Tesla. Apart from its coronavirus vaccine efforts, the company is also working on a rabies vaccine and two cancer immunotherapies. Both initiatives are in their early testing stages and employ the use of synthetic mRNA.
Other Coronavirus Efforts
Last month CureVac announced its readiness to begin testing its coronavirus vaccine on German patients. When CureVac first began its COVID vaccines efforts, the U.S. attempted to access it, causing complications between both countries. The German government’s $338.5 million investment was probably an attempt to keep any possible breakthroughs within its control. The investment gives the government 23% ownership in CureVac.
In the earlier days of the pandemic, Tesla took a break from auto manufacturing to focus on the coronavirus. The company began to manufacture much-needed ventilators, from parts of its Model 3 vehicle. Although it is currently unclear how many ventilators Tesla made, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the receipt of 1,000 ventilators from Musk. New York City’s Health System also revealed that it received 40 ventilators from Tesla.