The world could be just a few years away from a cancer vaccine, according to BioNTech's husband-and-wife founders. Reminder: These are the folks behind the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine that's now been administered ~400 million times.
Professors Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci founded BioNTech in 2008 with the goal of developing treatments for individualized cancer immunotherapy using messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. Screeeech - then the pandemic hit. They pivoted, adapting their tech to address the Coronavirus.
Now, the couple is having a full-circle moment. Building on the scientific breakthroughs they made with their COVID vaccine, they’re creating an mRNA cancer vaccine. And they expect it to be widely available by 2030.
Some researchers are developing vaccines to prevent cancer, but this vaccine is for people already battling cancer. After having surgery to remove tumors, the patient would receive a personalized vaccine that prompts the immune system’s T-cells to search the body for remaining cancer cells and eliminate them.
When the couple was asked if there’s a chance the cancer vaccine won’t work, Tureci simply replied, “I don’t think so.” Pretty badass.