General

Research for life and for freedom: the 2021 Axel Springer Award goes to BioNTech founders Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin

Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin are being honored for their groundbreaking research and medical entrepreneurship / Award ceremony to take place in the spring of 2021

Their successes in cancer research can help save lives. Not only that, but the BioNTech founders Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin are bringing hope to the world with their vaccine against Covid-19. The hope that a pandemic that has already cost more than a million lives and that has restricted our individual liberties to a hitherto unprecedented extent can be brought under control. In the spring of 2021, Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin are to be honored with the Axel Springer Award for their life-saving work.

Mathias Döpfner, CEO Axel Springer SE: “The Axel Springer Award aims to honor role models who encourage others through their actions to be more entrepreneurial, more innovative, and to take on social responsibility. For the year 2021, there can be no better examples of such role models than Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin. As physicians, researchers and entrepreneurs, they have achieved groundbreaking results in cancer research. The mRNA vaccine they developed against Covid-19 has the potential to give us back a great deal of freedom and to save lives around the world. I congratulate them with gratitude.“

asa21- © BioNTech SE 2020, all rights reserved

Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin declared war on cancer in their research and took a completely new approach when they founded BioNTech in 2008. The idea behind this is that the body be trained to fight the dreadful disease on its own. They managed to develop an mRNA-based treatment that can be administered intravenously – thus achieving a breakthrough in the area of cancer research. This procedure forms the basis for a vaccine against Covid 19, which the couple developed in record time with their team and with Pfizer as a partner. The vaccine is now to be available worldwide to help contain the pandemic.

Özlem Türeci and Uğur Şahin are the sixth recipients of the Axel Springer Award, with which the company honors outstanding personalities every year who are especially innovative, who create and change markets, leave their mark on our culture and at the same time fulfil their responsibilities towards society. The award recognizes achievement and encourages those who receive it to take further steps. Previous recipients of the Axel Springer Award are Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post, the economist and author Shoshana Zuboff and this year’s awardee Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and other companies.

The Axel Springer Award is a prestige award without prize money. You can find all the information about the award and about all previous awardees on www.axel-springer-award.com.

Sommerfeld
Julia Sommerfeld

Head of Communications News Media International