CureVac strikes COVID vaccine alliance with Bayer

German biotech firm CureVac has been looking for a larger partner to help in the COVID-19 vaccine race.

And on Thursday (Jan 7) it announced an alliance with drugmaker Bayer.

The two say the move will help CureVac seek regulatory approval for its experimental inoculation and distribute doses.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but CureVac shares surged 14% following the news.

The firm last month started a late-stage clinical trial of its COVID-19 candidate.

It's banking on the same technology that has allowed rivals including Moderna to progress with their vaccines.

The collaboration echoes a similar deal by German peer BioNTech.

Also a research-focused biotech firm, it last year agreed to collaborate with global giant Pfizer on its vaccine, which is now being rolled out globally.

Nasdaq-listed CureVac has said it aims to produce up to 300 million doses in 2021 and up to 600 million in 2022.

Last year it was at the centre of a dispute over alleged attempts by Donald Trump to gain access to the vaccine.

But the company denied having received any U.S. offers for the company or its assets.

Ahead of any regulatory approval, the European Union has secured over 400 million doses of the Curevac shot.