Books

BioNTech founders contributing to book on how they developed the first COVID-19 vaccine

BioNTech founders Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci are collaborating with Joe Miller of the Financial Times on The Vaccine. It will be published on Nov. 2, 2021.
Husband and wife Uğur Şahin (left) and Özlem Türeci (left) are the founders of the coronavirus vaccine developer BioNTech. (Associated Press/Bernd von Jutrczenka)

The husband and wife team who helped make the first COVID-19 vaccine are contributing to a book about their efforts. BioNTech founders Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci are collaborating with Joe Miller of the Financial Times on The Vaccine.

The Vaccine will be published on Nov. 2, 2021. That's one week before a book by the head of Pfizer, which teamed up with the Germany-based BioNTech to develop the vaccine, is scheduled to come out.

"The Vaccine will reveal how they were able to develop a panel of vaccine candidates within a matter of weeks, how they convinced major pharmaceutical companies to support their work, how they navigated negotiations with the U.S. administration and the European Union, and how in partnership with Pfizer they managed to produce more than two billion doses for countries around the world," according to the book's publisher, St. Martin's.

"Drs. Şahin and Türeci will explain the 30 years of scientific research that laid the foundations for the first COVID-19 vaccine, at a time when public confidence in its safety and efficacy is crucial to offering humanity a route out of this pandemic. And, they will offer a glimpse into the potential treatment of other diseases that the success of the BioNTech vaccine offers."

Exclusive interview with BioNTech CEO and co-founder

Power and Politics

2 months ago
9:23
In his first Canadian interview and exclusive with Power & Politics, BioNTech CEO and co-founder Dr. Uğur Şahin says he anticipates and is confident that the vaccine will be approved for younger children - and explains why he is not worried about variants that will appear in the future. 9:23

Britain authorized BioNTech's mRNA vaccine for use in December, followed a week later by Canada. Dozens of other countries, including the U.S., have followed suit and tens of millions of people worldwide have since received the shot developed together with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

"It pays off to make bold decisions and to trust that if you have an extraordinary team, you will be able to solve any problem and obstacle which comes your way in real time," Tureci told The Associated Press.

Among the biggest challenges for the small, Mainz-based company were how to conduct large-scale clinical trials across different regions and how to scale up the manufacturing process to meet global demand.

Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla is also working on a book, announced last month. Harper Business is publishing Bourla's Moonshot: Inside Pfizer's Nine-Month Race to Make the Impossible Possible on Nov. 9.

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