Tesla Gets Back Into COVID-19 Fight With Production Of RNA 'Microfactories'

Tesla Gets Back Into COVID-19 Fight With Production Of RNA 'Microfactories'

Tesla Inc TSLA will divert its attention from vehicle production to the construction of mobile molecule printers for a prospective COVID-19 vaccine, CEO Elon Musk announced Wednesday.

“Tesla, as a side project, is building RNA microfactories for CureVac & possibly others,” Musk tweeted.

“In principle, I think synthetic RNA (and DNA) has amazing potential,” he added in response to questions. “This basically makes the solution to many diseases a software problem.”

The new project will supplement the development efforts of CureVac, a German company backed by the Gates Foundation.

CureVac is crafting portable messenger RNA printers for local production of its vaccine candidate and therapies with similar mRNA-based mechanisms.

Tesla Grohmann Automation, a Tesla branch that produces automated manufacturing systems for fuel cells and batteries, will spearhead the production.

The CureVac partnership is the automaker’s second foray into the pandemic fight. In March, its engineers used Model 3 parts to create ventilators for coronavirus patients. 

Tesla shares were up 6.8% at $1,195.77 at the time of publication Thursday. 

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