'Novak Djokovic holds major stake in Covid-19 drug developing firm'

The World No.1 was recently denied a chance to defend his title at Australian Open 2020 due to his Covid-19 vaccine status.

Novak Djokovic had earlier joined Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer with 20 Grand Slam titles. (Image credit: Wimbledon Twitter)

World No.1 Novak Djokovic, who was deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open 2022 as his medical exemption was not valid enough to participate at the Grand Slam, holds major stakes in a Danish company that is in the process of developing a vaccine for the dreaded virus. According to information publicly available in the Danish business register, the 34-year-old Djokovic and his wife, Jelena, together hold a stake of 80 percent in QuantBioRes, which employs a workforce of around 20 in Denmark, Slovenia, Australia and Britain. The CEO of the company confirmed the details on Djokovic’s investment to news agency AFP and further gave details on their ambitions. 

“He is one of the founders of my company we founded in June 2020,” the chief executive of QuantBioRes, Ivan Loncarevic, had told AFP. “We aim to develop a new technology to fight viruses and resistant bacteria and we decided to use Covid as a showcase,” Loncarevic said. “If we succeed with Covid, we will succeed with other viruses.”

The company plans to launch clinical trials in the UK in the summer, according to the CEO of the firm. Djokovic flew out of Melbourne on Sunday after his last-ditch attempt to participate at the Australian Open 2022 was denied by the Federal Court owing to the rules of the country and his unvaccinated status. The verdict denied the Serbian megastar a chance to set the men’s record with 21 Grand Slam titles ahead of his arch-rivals and greatest of the current era Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

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It was a hard toil for Djokovic ever since he landed in Australia with the medical exemption. His visa was revoked for the second-time after his bid to participate at the Australian Open was granted by the Federal Court on Monday following which he was deported. 

“The government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders. Particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke said in a statement. He cited “health and good order grounds” for the decision. He added, “It was in the public interest to do so”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed the decision. “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected.”

The scenario occurred after his visa was revoked for the first time but the Federal Court only cleared him to participate in the major championship.



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