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BOSTON — BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin had been in marathon meetings since he arrived in this city three days earlier, but if his energy had flagged it didn’t show. The clock had not even struck 8 a.m., and there was Şahin, in front of a table at the Four Seasons strewn with continental breakfast, deep in discussion with HIV expert Bruce Walker of the Ragon Institute.

Before Walker left, Şahin asked a reporter, newly arrived, to snap a photo of them to commemorate the moment.


In Şahin’s world there is always, it seems, a lot going on at once. In an interview alongside his co-founder, chief medical officer, and wife, the German physician and researcher Özlem Türeci, Şahin gave every appearance of being humble, dressed in a gray-green T-shirt, jeans, and Asics sneakers. But he and Türeci were also clear that their goals are anything but modest. They aim to use the windfall that BioNTech is making from the Covid vaccine it developed with Pfizer to redefine what it means to be a drug company.

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