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Hoffenheim Owner Dietmar Hopp Says COVID-19 Vaccine Could Be Ready by Autumn

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2020

Hoffenheim's main sponsor Dietmar Hopp gestures prior to a Champions League's qualifier first leg soccer match between 1899 Hoffenheim and FC Liverpool, in the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, in Sinsheim, Germany, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
Michael Probst/Associated Press

Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp has said a vaccine for COVID-19 could be ready by the autumn. 

Hopp is also the primary investor in German biopharmaceutical company CureVac, which is working on a vaccine for the coronavirus.

He was asked how long it could take to be available to the public and told Sport1's Reinhard Franke (h/t Goal's James Westwood): "That depends on the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (the German institute for vaccines). It has to be tested first with animals and then with human beings. But I think it could be available in autumn at the time when possibly the next wave of infections will come."

On Sunday, German newspaper Die Welt (h/t the Guardian's Philip Oltermann) reported president Donald Trump had offered CureVac "large sums of money" for exclusive U.S. rights to the vaccine.

Thorsten Benner @thorstenbenner

German officials alarmed over what they see as Trump's aggressive 1bn US$ bid to take over Tübingen-based biopharmaceutical company Curevac to secure possible COVID19 vaccine "just for US". Officials to offer incentives to Curevac & consider blocking sale. https://t.co/SByVxMzs72 https://t.co/E7YEtzSDRE

Per football commentator Derek Rae, Hopp rejected the notion that the vaccine could be distributed in such a way:

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Derek Rae @RaeComm

and this is then used exclusively in the USA. That’s completely out of the question.” Sport 1: “What was the nature of your contact with the US President?” Hopp:”I personally didn’t speak to Mr Trump. He spoke to the company who then told me & asked what I thought.”

"If we succeed soon to develop an effective vaccine against the coronavirus then this vaccine should reach, protect and help people all over the world and not only in one region," he added.

There have been more than 169,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with a death toll in excess of 6,500.

The Bundesliga, as well as Europe's other top five leagues, was suspended last week and is set to be on hiatus until at least April as a result of the pandemic.

Hopp has recently been a target of abuse by ultras in Germany regarding his ownership of Hoffenheim.

A week after Borussia Monchengladbach fans displayed an insulting banner aimed at him, Bayern Munich's 6-0 win at Hoffenheim on February 29 had to be halted after Bayern supporters made a similar display.

In solidarity with Hoffenheim, the two sides played out the final quarter of an hour of that match kicking the ball to one another.

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