German laboratory BioNTech, manufacturer of one of the first COVID-19 vaccines, is managed by a medical researcher couple!

The development of the vaccine known as Pfitzer-BioNTech against COVID-19 is rooted in family history, more specifically that of an entrepreneurial medical researcher couple. Indeed, the BioNTech laboratory was co-founded in 2008 in Mainz, Germany by Özlem Türeci, Chief Medical Officer and her husband Ugur Sahin, CEO. Today, the NASDAQ-listed company has a market value of over $ 28 billion US and is experiencing significant growth, now employing more than 1,300 employees. While its primary mission is to revolutionize technologies and individual therapies against cancer, it has, since the start of the pandemic, focused its efforts on developing a vaccine against COVID-19. Based on its know-how and the mRNA-based vaccine technology, with which its team was already working, the laboratory could develop, in less than a year, one of the first vaccines showing an efficacy rate of 90% in clinical trials. In these turbulent times, the efficiency of BioNTech is perhaps no stranger to the ownership and management structure of this innovative family-owned biotech laboratory. Indeed, it has recently been shown that businesses owned and run by married couples are significantly more efficient*. This is a great example of a family business driven by the passion for science of a couple with an exceptional work ethic and an appetite for entrepreneurship!

Read the article: ‘BioNTech’s founders: scientist couple in global spotlight’

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*Le Breton-Miller, I. (2018). For Love and Money: Married leaders of family firms, FFI Practitioner, édition du 12 septembre 2018.