Djokovic holds major stake in firm developing Covid drug: CEO

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Novak Djokovic. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic, recently deported from Australia due to his coronavirus vaccine status, is co-founder and majority shareholder of a biotech firm developing a Covid-19 treatment, the Danish company's CEO said on Wednesday.

"He is one of the founders of my company we founded in June 2020," the chief executive of QuantBioRes, Ivan Loncarevic, told AFP.

According to information publicly available in the Danish business register, 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. 

"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."

QuantBioRes is planning to launch clinical trials in the UK in the summer, the CEO said. 

The unvaccinated men's world number one flew out of Melbourne on Sunday after he failed in a last-gasp court bid to stay and play in the opening Grand Slam of the year, where he was targeting a record 21st major title.

His dramatic departure followed a protracted, high-stakes legal battle between the athlete and Australian authorities that cast a dark shadow over the tournament. 

Contacted by AFP, Djokovic's spokesperson declined to comment on the tennis star's stake in the Danish biotech firm.

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