One of the Billionaire Scientists Behind the Pfizer/BioNTech Vaccine on What’s Next



When Uğur Şahin read an article about COVID-19 in January 2020, he and Özlem Türeci both recognized that their company’s mRNA technology might have something powerful to contribute. Türeci, BioNTech’s chief medical officer, led a team that rapidly whittled down 20 vaccine candidates to just one: BNT162b2, which could be described as the shot that changed the world. BioNTech partnered with the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and in July 2020, the US placed a $1.95 billion order. A few months later, the German government gave BioNTech a $445 million grant to speed up research and production. Wow!


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Photo Credit: Mika Baumeister

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