BioNTech

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Group.png BioNTech  
(Big Pharma)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
BioNTech.jpg
Founder• Christoph Huber
• Ugur Sahin
• Özlem Türeci
German biotechnology company worth billions after selling a COVID-19/Vaccine.

BioNTech is a German biotechnology company dedicated to the development and manufacture of active immunotherapies for a patient-specific approach to the treatment of serious diseases.[1] The company does not have any other product but the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162b2).

Turkish founders

Founded in 2008 by Turkish married scientists Özlem Türeci and Ugur Sahin and the Austrian oncologist Christoph Huber, the company originally set out to develop new types of immunotherapy against cancer, modifying patients’ T cells to target cancer-specific antigens. It researches drugs based on messenger RNA (mRNA) for use as individualised cancer immunotherapies, as vaccines against infectious diseases and as protein replacement therapies for rare diseases, and also engineered cell therapy, novel antibodies and small molecule immunomodulators as treatment options for cancer.

BioNTech developed an mRNA-based human therapeutic for intravenous administration, to bring individualised mRNA-based cancer immunotherapy to clinical trials and to establish its own manufacturing process.[2]

COVID-19 vaccine

“A year ago today, not everyone was aware that we were going to live in a pandemic. But some already knew or suspected it; and that included Mr. Şahin, the head of BioNTech, who told me that on January 24 he made the decision to overturn the entire BioNTech research program and develop an mRNA vaccine for this virus.”
Angela Merkel (26 Januar 2021)  [3]

Comparing the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines

The company’s shares shot up 23.4% on Monday morning after the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing with the US pharma giant Pfizer became the first candidate worldwide to show positive results in phase 3 trials, the crucial final stage of testing.

In November 2020, The Guardian reported that "the total value of BioNTech’s stock is currently $21.9bn (£16.6bn), more than four times that of German national carrier Lufthansa and a triumph for a company that only made its debut on the US stock market a year ago."[4]

Approved for use

On 21 December 2020, following approval by the UK's MHRA and the US FDA, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorised the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for the EU's nearly 448 million inhabitants. The EMA said the drug had demonstrated an efficacy of 95% and could be used in people aged 16 and over:

"Today's positive news is an important step forward in our fight against this pandemic, which has caused suffering and hardship for so many," said the EMA's executive director, Emer Cooke. "Our thorough evaluation means that we can confidently assure EU citizens of the safety and efficacy of this vaccine and that it meets necessary quality standards. However, our work does not stop here. We will continue to collect and analyse data on the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine to protect people taking the vaccine in the EU."[5]


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