European Business Press (EBP) presented the “European Manager of the Year 2021 Award” to three leading scientists and co-founders of BioNTech, at its Annual Meeting in Ljubljana.
European Business Press counts 34 leading European business newspapers and magazines in 22 countries, among them publications such as the Handelsblatt, The Wall Street Journal (Europe), Les Echos, Dagens Industri and Milano Finanza.
In 1991 EBP began presenting the award to top European managers and companies based on a vote of EBP editors. Among the recipients were profiles such as Ingvar Kamprad of Ikea, Wolfgang Mayrhuber, the Chairman of Lufthansa, Luca di Montezemolo, the Chairman of Ferrari, Tom Enders, the CEO of Airbus and Håkan Samuelsson, the CEO of Volvo Cars.
Uğur Şahin, Özlem Türeci and Christoph Huber, co-founders of BioNTech were named as winners of this year’s prestigious European Business Press Award.
BioNTech was founded in 2008 by Uğur Şahin, Özlem Türeci and Christoph Huber, with a seed investment of €150 million. The company’s activities focus on the development of novel biopharmaceutical technologies as well as the manufacturing processes for drugs used for individualized cancer immunotherapies and mRNA-based vaccines against infectious diseases.
To successfully realize their original vision of individualized cancer vaccine technology, the BioNTech scientists developed an approach that can be universally applied to different types of cancer. This individualization encompasses all steps from genomic analysis of a tumor, computer-assisted vaccine design tailored to the individual antigen profile, followed by rapid and reliable on demand production and quality control of the mRNA vaccine.
As a result of decades-long research, individualized mRNA cancer vaccines can be made available within a few weeks on average for patients treated in clinical trials with product candidates. The knowledge and know-how gained in this process contributed significantly to the rapid development, manufacturing and global roll-out of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine.
Together with their management colleagues, Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci have shaped the vision to pioneer individualized immunotherapies for cancer and other severe diseases. They helped bring together all necessary components to establish BioNTech as an international leader and one of the largest biotechnology companies in Europe, achieving unprecedented scientific advancements.
BioNTech had secured over one billion USD in funding including one of the largest private financing rounds in Europe by 2019 – the same year it went successfully public with a Nasdaq listing. In addition, BioNTech is one of the very few biotech companies to sign major agreements with several leading pharmaceutical partners. Many of them followed a unique partnering strategy of 50:50 cost-profit sharing to enable BioNTech to not only keep more control of its programs but also enable a larger upside for the company in a success scenario.
All of these achievements have enabled the corporate growth to over 2,00 employees as well as the most rapid vaccine development in history, also making it the first approved product for the company.
BioNTech reported estimated COVID-19 vaccine revenues of about 15 billion Euros for 2021 compared to total revenues of 108 million Euros in 2019. The company plans to reinvest significantly into their pipeline and global footprint in order to accelerate the development of cancer therapies and other prophylactic vaccines against Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV.