Djokovic has 80% share in biotech firm developing Covid treatment – report
Novak Djokovic and his wife hold a majority stake in a Danish biotech company which is aiming to develop a medical treatment to combat coronavirus, the firm’s chief executive has said.
QuantBioRes CEO Ivan Loncarevic revealed the news to Reuters on Wednesday. The Serbian star and his wife, Jelena, have a combined 80% share, with 40.8% owned by the tennis ace and 39.2% held by his spouse.
Loncarevic said the tennis world number one – who has amassed over $150 million in career prize money – made the investment in June 2020, but did not disclose the amount.
Copenhagen-based QuantBioRes is aiming to develop a ‘peptide’ treatment against Covid-19 which would inhibit the virus from infecting human cells.
It expects to launch clinical trials in the UK later this year, and has around a dozen researchers working in Denmark, Australia, and Slovenia, Loncarevic explained.
The CEO stressed that it was a treatment against the illness, rather than a vaccine.
The news comes after Djokovic was deported from Australia in a row centered on his Covid vaccine status.
The 34-year-old star is not vaccinated against the illness but arrived in Australia with a medical exemption based on recovery from a prior infection in December.
However, that was deemed insufficient by the federal authorities.
After an ordeal lasting almost two weeks, Djokovic was eventually deported following the intervention of Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who argued that the Serb’s continued presence in the country would incite anti-vaccine sentiments among the local population.