BioNTech is a German biotechnology company dedicated to the development and manufacture of active immunotherapies for a patient-specific approach to the treatment of serious diseases.
It develops pharmaceutical candidates based on messenger RNA (mRNA) for use as individualized cancer immunotherapies, as vaccines against infectious diseases and as protein replacement therapies for rare diseases, and also engineered cell therapy, novel antibodies and small molecule immunomodulators as treatment options for cancer. The company developed an mRNA-based human therapeutic for intravenous administration to bring individualized mRNA-based cancer immunotherapy to clinical trials and to establish its own manufacturing process.
In 2020, the company's lead vaccine candidate for preventing COVID-19 infections, BNT2b2, was in Phase III clinical trials in the United States.
BioNTech was founded in 2008 in Mainz, Germany, by German scientists Uğur Şahin, and Özlem Türeci, with the Austrian oncologist Christoph Huber. It has been supported by a scientific advisory board under the direction of Rolf M. Zinkernagel.
In August 2018, the company announced that it had entered into a multi-year research and development (R&D) collaboration with the US company Pfizer Inc. to develop mRNA-based vaccines for prevention of influenza. Under the terms of the agreement, following BioNTech’s completion of a first in human clinical study, Pfizer would assume sole responsibility for further clinical development and commercialization of mRNA-based flu vaccines.
In September 2019, it signed an agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop HIV and tuberculosis programs to identify and develop preclinical vaccine and immunotherapy candidates for the prevention of HIV and tuberculosis infections and for the long-term antiretroviral therapy-free remission of HIV diseases.
In June 2020, BioNTech received €250 million from Singapore's Temasek Holdings and other investors through a private placement of mandatory convertible bonds.