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The husband-wife team, Şahin and Türeci, that helped to develop the covid-19 vaccine variant used by Pfizer is now returning to their original cancer research. They are looking to implement different cancer vaccines using the mRna method used with the covid vaccine. While it’s still very early in the process and the group is unsure whether or not it will prove effective, the prospect is promising.

This German pharma BioNTech company has been studying mRna for two decades. The medical platform is intended to carry instructions for making antigen proteins found on the surface of a virus into body cells. The antigen is then replicated repeatedly into more cells in an effort to prepare and protect the immune system from that particular virus. 

This principle could be used in a large array of areas including, immune-system related illnesses, influenza, cancer, malaria, exc. For cancer research specifically, the mRna would be programmed to deliver protein codes and used to target tumors on individuals. The immune system could then be trained to fight off the cancer itself. 

Moderna, a Boston-based company, also developed the mRna vaccine incredibly quickly and is also looking to mRna solutions and preventions for other diseases and immunities. In January, they announced the have three upcoming vaccines, an HIV vaccine, a seasonal flu vaccine, and a Nipah virus vaccine, which has been quite deadly, with a fatality rate above 70 percent. 

BioNTech was awarded with the Order of Merit, a high honor in Germany, Angela Merkel even attended the ceremony. Şahin and Türeci insisted that it was a team effort and that all involved should be thanked for their participation. “It’s about the effort of many: our team at BioNTech, all the partners who were involved, also governments, regulatory authorities, which worked together with a sense of urgency,” Türeci said. “The way we see it, this is an acknowledgement of this effort and also a celebration of science.”

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