SAN FRANCISCO — When BioNTech was founded in 2008, messenger RNA therapies and vaccines were still an unproven idea. The German company has now shipped out billions of doses of its mRNA Covid-19 vaccine worldwide — and BioNTech’s leaders say that’s just the beginning of a larger revolution in medicine.
CEO Uğur Şahin sat down with STAT during this week’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference to talk about how mRNA — with a bit of help from artificial intelligence — can power personalized treatments. Some of this work is already happening, including four bespoke cancer vaccines the company is testing in clinical trials. Other efforts are on the horizon, such as a recent commitment by BioNTech and the U.K. government to treat as many as 10,000 patients with personalized mRNA cancer immunotherapies by 2030.