We aspire to translate science into survival by developing new immunotherapies
We are committed to improving the health of people worldwide with our fundamental research and our work in the area of development of immunotherapies utilizing the full potential of the immune system to fight cancer, infectious diseases and other serious diseases. We believe in scientific rigor, innovation and passion as driving forces. BioNTech was founded by scientists and physicians to translate science into survival by combining fundamental research and operational excellence.
A broad suite of novel technologies
With decades of deep immunology expertise and experience in developing and optimizing mRNA as part of its broad suite of novel technologies, the company is working with the global community to defeat life-threatening and serious diseases such as cancer, COVID-19, malaria and tuberculosis. The first ever approved mRNA vaccine was created in the labs of BioNTech in Mainz, Germany.
BioNTech is a fully integrated, global immunotherapy powerhouse. We have been working on automated and digitized processes and build continuously capabilities for specialized manufacturing, either for individualized vaccines or for large-scale products like our COVID-19 vaccine. We are also continuously evaluating ways to democratize the access to healthcare in the long-term.
A legacy of scientific discovery
Prof. Ugur Sahin, M.D., Prof. Özlem Türeci, M.D., and Prof. Christoph Huber co-founded BioNTech in 2008 to revolutionize immunotherapy with individualized cancer therapies. Throughout the decades of research, the pipeline expanded to four drug classes targeting cancer and infectious diseases.
At BioNTech, we have been conducting fundamental research of mRNA technologies in the field of individualized cancer medicine for more than a decade. Some of our colleagues have been researching and developing mRNA-based vaccines for more than 25 years. The key problem of mRNA was a missing genetic engineering process so that mRNA vaccines trigger a strong and precisely targeted response by the immune system after injection.
For over two decades, Sahin, Türeci and their team have systematically studied the biology and pharmacology of RNA vaccines and identified multiple strategies to increase intracellular stability of RNA vaccines and improve the efficiency of protein translation in human dendritic cells which are the most potent stimulators of the immune system. This way, they established different layers of mRNA vaccine optimization, including: the optimization of the various structural backbone elements of mRNA molecules, ways to utilize uridine-based and nucleoside-modified mRNA chemistries as well as different lipid-based compositions and administration routes to deliver mRNA.
These discoveries and variousclinical studies have resulted in a diversified toolbox from which we can choose depending on what we want to achieve. We can create investigational mRNA-based vaccines either to induce strong T cell responses in cancer patients (Sahin et al., Nature, 2020) or with the aim of suppressing autoimmunity (Krienke et al., Science, 2021). A thin slice from this diversified toolbox of discoveries and technological optimizations has been used for our COVID-19 vaccine.
Taking on the world’s most pressing health challenges
While BioNTech, together with its partner Pfizer, has led the global COVID-19 vaccine effort and made great strides in individualized cancer treatments, its story is just beginning. BioNTech’s portfolio contains more than 20 product candidates, 15 of which are being tested in clinical trials.
In pursuit of changing the treatment paradigm with individualized cancer therapies, our pipeline encompasses oncology product candidates including individualized and off-the-shelf mRNA-based therapies, innovative chimeric antigen receptor T cells, bispecific checkpoint immunomodulators, targeted cancer antibodies and small molecules.
Succeeding through global partnerships
BioNTech works closely with some of the world’s most established pharmaceutical companies and non-profit organizations to drive breakthroughs in medical science, therapeutical innovations, and improvement of quality of care. We have established a broad set of relationships with multiple global pharmaceutical collaborators, including Genmab, Sanofi, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, Regeneron, Genevant, Fosun Pharma, and Pfizer.
Becoming a global immunotherapy powerhouse
BioNTech will use the lessons of its COVID-19 vaccine program “Project Lightspeed” to inform and accelerate new research initiatives. We aim to bring novel oncology and infectious disease therapies to the market within the next five years. BioNTech is also exploring how to apply its technology to advancements in treating allergies, inflammatory diseases, and regenerative medicine.
2021 was a transformational year for BioNTech with the development and approval of the first mRNA drug in history. See our Annual Report for the year 2021 for an overview of corporate and scientific milestones, detailed updates on our pipeline candidates and a summary of our financial results.