BioNTech scientists honoured with prestigious German medical prize

BioNTech scientists honoured with prestigious German medical prize

The three BioNTech scientists behind the revolutionary Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 have received Germany’s most prestigious medical award for their work.

The scientists will receive the prize in 2022

Scientists Ugur Sahin, Özlem Türeci and Katalin Kariko have been awarded the 2022 Paul Ehrlich- and Ludwig Darmstaedter-Preis, and will be presented with the award on March 14, 2022 in Frankfurt. The award is considered to be one of the most prestigious awards for medicine anywhere in the world, with 25 of the 128 previous recipients having gone on to also receive a Nobel Prize. 

German researchers Sahin and Türeci are known across the world for having founded BioNTech, the company that developed the technology behind one of the leading COVID-19 vaccines. The pair set up the company in 2008, after being dedicated to oncology and mRNA research over the decades previously. 

The Hungarian scientist Katalin Kariko will also be receiving the award alongside the duo, for her contributions to the advancement of mRNA technology in immunology, and her research at BioNTech. She joined the pair’s Mainz-based lab in 2013. 

BioNTech has even more big plans for the future

While the trio have worked together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic since its outbreak in 2020, their main work before the pandemic involved developing mRNA immunisations and therapies against other illnesses. 

The firm has already announced their intention to create the world’s first mRNA vaccine against malaria, an illness that kills more than 400.000 people each year. 

BioNTech has also stated its ambitions to start clinical trials of an mRNA tuberculosis vaccine in 2022, and currently has 14 clinical product candidates against cancer in ongoing studies. 

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. After this, she obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in...

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