Novak Djokovic Owns 80% Stake In Biotech Company Working On Covid Cure
Tennis star Novak Djokovic has been confirmed as the controlling shareholder in a Danish biotech firm working on a cure for coronavirus.
Djokovic has recently made headlines for losing his Australian visa and being forced to miss the Australian open over the fact he is unvaccinated against the virus.
The news prompted a vaccine debate and led some to brand Djokovic as an anti-vaxxer, however that view has been disputed by Ivan Loncarevic, the chief executive of QuantBioRes, after Djokovic bought shares in his company.
While vaccines have already been developed and rolled out in a bid to tackle the virus, QuantBioRes is aiming to come up with a treatment, rather than a vaccine.
It is currently working with about a dozen researchers in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia to develop a peptide, which is intended to inhibit coronavirus from infecting the human cell. Loncarevic explained the company expects to launch clinical trials in Britain this summer.
The CEO added that the 80% share owned by Djokovic is the total amount held by himself and his wife, with Djokovic owning 40.8% and his wife, Jelena, owning 39.2%.
Djokovic has not commented on the ownership at the time of writing, January 20, but Loncarevic told the Financial Times that the sportsman was 'not anti-vax'.
On Sunday, Djokovic left Australia after failing to overturn the cancellation of his visa by Alex Hawke, the country’s immigration minister. Hawke claimed Djokovic’s presence in Australia might risk 'civil unrest', describing him as a 'talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment.'
The judges who rejected Djokovic's bid to stay have agreed it was not irrational for Hawke to choose to eject the tennis player due to the risk he could pose to public health and order.
In the ruling, cited by CNN, they wrote: 'The possible influence on the second group comes from common sense and human experience: An iconic world tennis star may influence people of all ages, young or old, but perhaps especially the young and the impressionable, to emulate him. This is not fanciful; it does not need evidence.'
Djokovic had arrived in Australia on January 5 with the belief that a visa granted on November 18 and a medical exemption approved by Tennis Australia and a Victorian government independent expert panel would be enough to allow him to enter the country without the vaccine.
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