Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin, the co-founders of BioNTech, and Katalin Kario, who also works at the Germany-based, biotechnology firm has been announced as the recipients of Germany’s most prestigious medicine prize for their mRNA vaccine work.
They will receive the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize 2022 on March 14.
The three award winners are being honored for their achievements in the development of messenger RNA (mRNA) for preventive and therapeutic purposes, said the foundation in a statement yesterday.
“The spectacularly rapid development of a highly effective vaccine against the coronavirus disease COVID-19, which has proven to play a decisive role in the worldwide containment of the SARS-CoV2 pandemic, has been an outstanding success,” it added.
Both Şahin and Türeci were born to immigrant parents from Turkey who moved to Germany in the 1960s, and after studying medicine at university, they have built successful careers in the fields of cancer immunology, molecular biology and the mRNA vaccine technology.
The pharmaceutical company BioNTech, which the couple founded in 2008, managed to develop the world’s first effective coronavirus vaccine together with its U.S. partner Pfizer.
Katalin Kario, who joined BioNTech in 2013, is currently the company’s senior vice president.
Hurriyet Daily News