BioNTech AG, a fully-integrated biotechnology company pioneering individualized cancer immunotherapy, today announced the appointment of Özlem Türeci, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer, effective June 1, 2018. Dr. Türeci has chaired BioNTech´s Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board since the inception of the Company.
“We are delighted that Özlem has joined BioNTech as Chief Medical Officer,” said Helmut Jeggle, Chairman of BioNTech. “She has an exceptional track record both as a physician scientist and as an entrepreneur and brings invaluable expertise to BioNTech.”
Dr. Türeci has over 25 years of experience in cancer research and immuno-oncology, specifically in the identification of immunotherapeutic drug targets and the development of antibodies, as well as vaccine-based therapies. In 2001, Dr. Türeci co-founded Ganymed Pharmaceuticals as Chief Scientific Officer and became its Chief Executive Officer in 2008. Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, which focused on developing a new generation of first-in-class antibodies in solid cancers, was sold to Astellas Pharma, Inc. for EUR 422 million in 2016. Dr. Türeci is chairman and co-initiator of Ci3, the German Cluster Initiative of Individualized ImmunIntervention (Ci3) e.V., based in Mainz, Germany. She is also an executive board member of the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT). She authored over 110 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on more than 80 patents and patent applications.
“I very much look forward to working with the team at BioNTech,” commented Dr. Türeci. “The Company has an incredibly strong foundation in the science of immunotherapy, and I am excited to help lead its efforts to develop individualized treatments for patients with cancer and other critical diseases.”
“BioNTech has grown significantly since its foundation in 2008 and has matured to a clinical-stage company with encouraging early clinical results,” added Prof. Ugur Sahin, co-founder and CEO of BioNTech. “As we move forward with more advanced clinical studies in patients, we need a leader with significant experience in translational and advanced clinical development to complement our existing expertise. The appointment of Özlem will allow us to further broaden and accelerate our development activities.”