Hungarian-born biochemist Katalin Karikó and the founder-directors of BioNTech, physicians Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin will receive the most prestigious award in medical science in Germany, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, the board of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation announced.
BioNTech and its scientific team led by Karikó are acclaimed for the research and development of mRNA-based vaccines. In a statement, the foundation said BioNTech “established a technology platform that is likely to initiate a paradigm shift in some areas of medicine.” “The spectacularly rapid development of a highly effective vaccine against the coronavirus disease COVID-19, which has proven to play a decisive role in the worldwide containment of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, has been an outstanding success,” the statement reads.
Karikó and the others will receive the prize in 2022 which comes with a EUR 120,000 (HUF 42,6 million) reward. To date, 128 scientists have been awarded this prize. 25 laureates have also received the Nobel Prize. Karikó seems to be getting closer and closer to a possible Nobel Prize win, and the 25 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize winners who have also won one are a promising sign too.
More can be read about the winners of the prize and the importance of the mRNA on the website of the Foundation, here.
Featured image via Csilla Cseke/MTI