You have made a significant contribution in the fight against the pandemic: Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin developed the Biontech vaccine. A big prize should appreciate their work.
The Biontech corona vaccine developers are honored with one of the most important honors in German science. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier awarded the team around the company founders Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin the German Future Prize 2021 on Wednesday. They would have managed to develop a vaccine against Covid-19 in an unprecedented short time and to bring it to approval with completed studies .
The award for technology and innovation is endowed with 250,000 euros. But the prerequisite for the future award is not just innovation: the product must also be developed for marketability. The nomination alone is considered a high honor in scientific circles.
Biontech was one of the first companies to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus together with the US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. With the mRNA vaccine, the Mainz-based company not only gave the global vaccination campaign an enormous boost, but also founded a new era in medicine.
The mRNA contained in the vaccine is the blueprint for a protein of the coronavirus. With its help, the human cells produce the virus protein and the immune system can prepare for a possible infection with the virus. Hopes rest on mRNA technology not only for vaccines against other infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, but also for cancer therapy, for example.
The Biontech team competed against two competitors: The experts from Siemens Healthineers AG in Forchheim found a new type of technology for better C.T-pictures. Researchers at the University of Münster and the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Ecology IME there developed a sustainable alternative to rubber, for example for the manufacture of tires. The Federal President’s Future Prize has been awarded since 1997.