By Claire Gordon • 19 January 2022 • 21:54
Presentation of the cheque at La Sala Banus
Credit: Cudeca Foundation
Novak Djokovic is the controlling shareholder in a Danish biotech firm that is developing a no-vax Covid treatment, it has been revealed. The CEO of the company insists that even after his Australian visa issues and the investment into treatment that does not require a vaccination, the tennis ace is still not ‘anti-vax’.
The world number 1 was deported from Australia this week after a visa saga that stretched over almost a week. The Australian government eventually cancelled his visa for the second time in a dispute over a medical exemption related to his unvaccinated status. Djokovic flew out of Australia on Sunday after losing a legal challenge to overturn the cancellation of his visa by Alex Hawke, the country’s immigration minister, who said Djokovic’s presence in Australia might risk “civil unrest” as he was a “talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment”.
Djokovic bought the 80% share in QuantBioRes in 2020 and Ivan Loncarevic, the company’s chief executive, confirmed the investment to Reuters. He subsequently told the Financial Times that he had not spoken to Djokovic, who has won more than $150m in prize money, since November and that the tennis star was “not anti-vax”.
QuantBioRes has about 11 researchers working in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia, according to Loncarevic, who stressed the company was working on a no-vax Covid treatment, not a new vaccine. The company’s website says it started developing a “deactivation mechanism” for Covid-19 in July 2020. This involves developing a peptide, to inhibit the coronavirus from infecting human cells. The company are expecting to launch clinical trials in Britain this summer, as reported by The Guardian.
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