The future of Serbian star Novak Djokovic seems to be drifting away from tennis. First, he was deported from Australia for not being jabbed and later France announced similar rules would apply to any unvaccinated traveler, which means he would also miss the second Grand Slam tournament of the year.
But since COVID-19 kept him away from the courts, he decided to take on the coronavirus himself and bought 80% of Danish pharmaceutical company QuantBioRes to develop treatments against the new disease.
Although the purchase was made in June 2020, it was not until Wednesday that it became public knowledge.
The company has not disclosed how much the 34-year-old Djokovic has disbursed for this buyover.
QuantBioRes boss Ivan Loncarevic, who described himself as an entrepreneur, said the tennis player’s acquisition of the 80 per cent stake was made in June 2020 but declined to say how much it was.
The company is developing a peptide, which inhibits the coronavirus from infecting the human cell, expects to launch clinical trials in Britain this summer, according to Loncarevic, who stressed the firm was working on a treatment, not a vaccine.
The CEO said the company had about a dozen researchers working in Denmark, Australia and Slovenia. According to the Danish company register, Djokovic and his wife Jelena own 40.8 per cent and 39.2 per cent of the company, respectively.
Djokovic has enjoyed phenomenal success – Forbes listed him in the world’s top-50 highest paid athletes for 2021. It calculated his on-court earnings at US $ 4.5 million, dwarfed by the US $ 30 million it said he earned off court.