We aspire to find new and better ways to treat and prevent diseases. We aim to improve standards of care or establish new ones. We at BioNTech believe that the immune system is the fundamental driver for therapeutic success in cancer and infectious diseases. As immune engineers, we have a deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms that enable the immune system to effectively recognize both external threats like infectious diseases and internal threats like cancer. Our goal is to translate this expertise into therapies and vaccines that could make a difference for individuals as well as humankind.
Every patient’s tumor is unique and so should be their cancer treatment
Every patient’s tumor is unique, so their cancer treatment should be as well
We are committed to developing mRNA-based vaccines to address life-threatening infectious diseases
We are committed to develop mRNA-based vaccines addressing life-threatening infectious diseases.
Cancer is a devastating disease and remains a tremendous burden worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020 according to the World Health Organization. Cancer is a result of a transformation of healthy cells into malignant cells in a multi-stage process. This change arises from a complex interplay between environmental factors and the patient’s own genetic make-up.
Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that boosts the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. It uses proteins made by the body or in a laboratory to train the patient’s immune system to find and destroy cancer cells.
Immunotherapies have already led to major treatment breakthroughs for various cancer indications. Examples include the immune checkpoint therapies that fundamentally changed the outcome for certain groups of patients with advanced melanoma, as well as the preventive vaccine for cervical and liver cancer.
However, every cancer type is unique and we believe that immunotherapies should be able to address each cancer indication in a different way. That is why we have established a range of technology platforms and tools aimed at the development of the best treatment options for each tumor indication.
Towards patient-specific cancer treatments
We believe that harnessing complementary, potentially synergistic modes of action could increase the likelihood of therapeutic success, reduce the risk of emergence of secondary resistance mechanisms, and also unlock a larger potential patient population. Critically, this approach allows us to pursue a technology-agnostic path by developing an appropriate therapeutic platform or a combination thereof for the intended patient and purpose.
Development of new treatment options
We want to find better ways of treating cancer by combining the appropriate biotechnological tools. Thus, our broad pipeline includes different drug classes. We are developing mRNA-based immune activators, antigen-targeting T cells, antibodies and other therapeutic proteins like ADCs, as well as defined immunomodulators of various immune responses. This portfolio is designed to mirror the effects and the evolution of the immune system to rely on multiple complementary pathways.
We want to help as many cancer patients as possible. As part of our fundamental research, we discover and exploit novel targets and target combinations. Our aim is to extend the utility of immunotherapy to patient populations that are not currently amenable or do not benefit from the targets of current immunotherapies.
We engineer and develop highly potent drug candidates designed to avoid compromising precision for the specific target. We further augment activity and counteract resistance mechanisms by combining compounds.
In several cases, cancer recurrence following therapy is a consequence of a lack of complete tumor eradication, which is mainly driven by the biological variability of each tumor. Addressing this biological reality is one of the mandatory design aspects of the product candidates we develop. For example, each of our cancer immunotherapies incorporates multiple targets in order to account for this variability so that each compound can be a potential treatment option for many patients.
These four guiding principles have helped us to build a broad suite of therapeutic platforms, optimized for a distinct mode of action, high precision, high potency and efficacy.
In our oncology therapeutic programs, we have treated over 1,600 patients across more than 20 solid tumor types by the end of 2022. Five of these programs are being evaluated in randomized Phase 2 trials.
We aim to develop new prophylactic vaccines as well as therapeutics against various infectious diseases as there is substantial unmet medical need. We are committed to deploying our full suite of technologies and immunotherapeutic expertise to develop mRNA-based as well as protein-based vaccines and therapeutics against emerging and existing infectious diseases.
We believe the technology behind our COVID-19 vaccine has potential against a range of other infectious diseases.
We are investing in vaccine development programs to address diseases with a massive health burden – especially in lower income countries – such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.
Our goal is to establish a new standard of care with our products.
Our therapeutic focus areas
The global COVID-19 pandemic halted the world following its official declaration in March 2020. We focused our efforts early on and successfully developed the first mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine as well as variant adapted vaccines.
Malaria is a life-threatening disease, caused by parasites that are spread through Anopheles mosquitoes. With half of the world population at risk of malaria and a large part living in lower to middle income countries, there is an urgent need to protect the most vulnerable populations worldwide. BioNTech initiated a clinical phase 1 trial for an mRNA-based malaria vaccine candidate at the end of 2022.
Tuberculosis is a severe air-borne disease caused by infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which can cause severe complications such as pulmonary parenchyma, among other things, and can be fatal. The vast majority of cases and deaths are in developing countries, thereby creating a huge burden for vulnerable communities. BioNTech is working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a vaccine that prevents tuberculosis infections which entered the clinic at the beginning of 2023.
Vaccines and therapeutics for several high unmet medical need indications
Our approach of mRNA-based vaccines can offer many benefits in terms of battling infectious diseases, ranging from shorter manufacturing times to not exposing patients to infectious elements as well as the opportunity to address emerging virus variants in a rapid manner. In addition to malaria and tuberculosis, BioNTech is currently developing a vaccine candidate for HIV.
In addition, we develop novel approaches to treat bacterial infections. Our synthetic lysin candidates are derived from naturally occurring viral proteins that have the potential to improve the standard of care for a range of bacterial infections while potentially offering a unique opportunity to address one of modern medicines’ biggest challenges: antibiotic resistance.
As a science-driven company, we continuously investigate new opportunities and approaches aimed at efficiently addressing infectious diseases.