Meet the married billionaire couple who helped create the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine

The German couple behind BioNTech is one of the driving forces behind Pfizer’s historic coronavirus vaccine, which has now been authorized in the UK and US, and is recommended for use in the EU
Dr. Ugur Sahin is the CEO and Dr. Özlem Türeci the chief medical officer of BioNTech, the company that created the vaccine in partnership with Pfizer.
The couple crossed the billionaire threshold in June, when BioNTech shares surged on news of its pact with Pfizer.
Sahin was named one of the world’s richest 500 people by Bloomberg; Forbes estimates his net worth at $4.3 billion.
He’s said there’s a “relatively high” possibility that their vaccine will protect against the UK variation, but they could also produce a new vaccine for mutations within six weeks, per the Financial Times.
The duo met while working at a university hospital in southwest Germany; they cofounded their first pharmaceutical company a year before getting married.
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Pfizer and BioNTech have made history with the results of their coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine, developed in partnership between the US and German companies, has an efficacy of over 90%, per clinical trial data. It’s the fastest a vaccine has ever been developed, its efficacy came in much higher than the 70% or 80% virologists were hoping for, and it was the first coronavirus vaccine to get approval in the US, on December 11. On Monday, it was recommended for use in the EU by the European Medicines Agency.That’s good news for the future of the pandemic — and for the German couple behind it.BioNTech’s CEO, Dr. Ugur Sahin, cofounded the firm with his wife, Dr. Özlem Türeci, who is the chief medical officer. The couple crossed the billionaire threshold back in June, as BioNTech’s stock surged after its pact with Pfizer was announced. In early December, Sahin joined the list of the world’s 500 richest people after the UK approved the Pfizer vaccine; according to Forbes, his net worth is now $4.3 billion.

In clinical trials, it was ultimately 95% effective at preventing coronavirus. When a dangerous-seeming new mutation arose in the UK, Sahin told the Financial Times that there’s a “relatively high” possibility that their vaccine will protect against it as well, but they could also produce a new vaccine for mutations within six weeks.”It could be the beginning of the end of the Covid era,” Dr. Sahin told the New York Times.Here’s how the vaccine power couple met one another, and how they made their mark on modern medicine.BioNTech did not respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

Read more: How the pharma giant Pfizer teamed up with a little-known biotech to develop an effective coronavirus vaccine in record time

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