Scientists Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci who established BioNTech in the central German city of Mainz in 2008, are considered the brains behind the world’s first efficient coronavirus vaccine; On November 9, 2020, the company’s associate, US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, announced their candidate vaccine was more than 90% efficient in stopping infection in volunteers. The couple has given their lives to the study of treatment of tumors (masses of cells) in the body and infectious illnesses. Also, they are pioneers of personalized immunotherapy medications for cancer. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, the couple’s groundbreaking research in the field of modified genetic code has made them prominent today.

Sahin emphasized the value of the news — and posted a message of hope for the world. “I think the good message for mankind is that we now understand that COVID-19 infections can be indeed prevented by a vaccine,” he said. Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s CEO called it “the greatest medical advance” in the past 100 years. While the vaccine is an enormous move for the scientific community, Sahin and Tureci are experts in the world of medical achievements. The couple, both equipped physicians, established their former company, Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, in 2001 to work on improving cancer-fighting antibodies, finally marketing it for $1.4 billion in 2016.