Tesla is building mobile molecule printers in Germany to help create a potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed by CureVac, Elon Musk, the electric-car manufacturer’s chief executive, tweeted on Wednesday.
CureVac, a non-German company, has stated that it is developing portable, automated mRNA production units that it calls printers and which Musk describes as “RNA micro-factories”.
They are being designed to be shipped to remote locations, where they can brainstorm its vaccine candidates and other mRNA-based therapies based on the recipe fed into the machine.
In principle, I think synthetic RNA (and DNA) has amazing potential. This basically makes the solution to many diseases a software problem.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 2, 2020
But for immediate epidemic use – should its vaccine candidate get market approval – it has production sites in Germany with regulatory approvals that have the potential to produce hundreds of millions of doses.
The company, based in Tuebingen and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is a pioneer of the so-called Messenger RNA approach, which BioNTech and its partner Pfizer follow as well as Modern.