Who is BioNTech, the German lab behind one of the Covid-19 vaccines?

Associated with the American Pfizer, this biotech from Mainz founded by a couple of researchers, both children of Turkish immigrants, has invented a vaccine against Covid-19.

Faced with the general euphoria Ugur Sahin, whose company [BioNTech] raised hope in the fight against the coronavirus, was particularly calm. [Cette euphorié a suivi l’annonce le lundi 9 novembre d’un vaccin potentiellement efficace à 90 % par les laboratoires américain Pfizer et allemand BioNTech.] “The first interim analysis of our global phase 3 study indicates that a vaccine can prevent Covid-19”, he pithily declared on Monday [9 novembre].

A tone in accordance with his nature: the man is sober, reserved, focused on the essential. He does not like fiery and thunderous statements, no more than grand gestures. What matters to him is science.

He and his wife, Özlem Türeci, usually cycle to the Goldgrube [littéralement la “mine d’or”], an ideal address for their company BioNTech, which they founded in 2008 with cancer specialist Christopher Huber. Lately, the dynamic couple – Sahin’s wife is BioNTech’s medical director – have arguably been spending more time at the Goldgrube than usual.

Because much has changed in recent months: since the company announced at the beginning of the year that it was working in its own laboratories in Mainz on a vaccine against the coronavirus, everything has been packed. In March, BioNTech announced that it had found a first partner for further development, the Chinese company Fosun. Shortly after, we learned that she was also working with Pfizer.


Ilka Kopplin and Roland Lindner

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Founded in 1949 and led by a team of five directors, the DOES, a large conservative and liberal daily, is a reference tool in German business and intellectual circles. More than 300 editors and 40 correspondents at


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