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Inside story of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to be published by St. Martin’s Press


It was announced today that the inside story of the first vaccine in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic will be told in The Vaccine: Inside the Race to Conquer the COVID-19 Pandemic.

BioNTech founders and scientist couple Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci, who were the first to produce the vaccine, will tell their story to Joe Miller of the Financial Times. Publication of the book is planned for November 2, 2021. St. Martin’s Publishing Group SVP/Editor-in-Chief George Witte acquired U.S. and Canadian rights from Sloan Harris at ICM Partners on behalf of Jonny Geller at The Curtis Brown Group. Drs Sahin and Türeci are represented by Rory Scarfe at The Blair Partnership.

Written by Financial Times journalist Joe Miller with contributions from Dr. Sahin and Dr. Türeci, the book will tell the thrilling, dramatic story of one of the most important medical breakthroughs of our age. 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. Drs Sahin 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.

George Witte said, “I’m honored to be publishing this important book by Joe Miller with contributions from Dr. Sahin and Dr. Türeci, which takes us behind the scenes of the most urgent story of our time and shows how science triumphs over panic, politics, and misinformation to begin to solve a global crisis.”

Joe Miller said: “Having watched the record-breaking development of the world’s first clinically approved Covid-19 vaccine at close quarters, I am delighted to be able to tell the story of what will surely rank as one of the greatest scientific achievements of our age. In their longstanding quest to target cancer, Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci, believed in harnessing the powers of the immune system. Their triumph, at one of humankind’s darkest moments, was no happy accident. As this account will explain, it was built on decades spent in perseverant pursuit of a single vision, one that now promises to unlock a new generation of vaccines and therapies.”

About Dr. Sahin and Dr. Tureci: Ugur Sahin and Özlem Türeci are the husband-and-wife team behind the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine, developed by the company they co-founded, BioNTech, and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The children of Turkish migrant workers in Germany, they forged an unusual path to the top of the biotechnology industry. Both trained as medical doctors, while simultaneously pursuing doctorates in molecular medicine and immunotherapy. In pursuit of the creation of personalized cancer therapies, they created two billion-euro companies, while also supervising dozens of PhD students and authoring hundreds of scientific papers. They have also filed hundreds of patents and founded two non-profit organizations that support research in translational oncology.

About Joe Miller: Joe Miller covered BioNTech’s Covid-19 project in real time as the Financial Times’ correspondent in Frankfurt, where he also reports on German industry and innovation. In March, he wrote the first English-language profile of Ugur Sahin and had regular access to BioNTech throughout the vaccine’s development in Mainz.

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