Think Big is the motto of Ugur Sahin, founder of the German biotech company BioNTech, and he certainly seems to be practicing what he preaches. BioNTech’s revolutionary new cancer treatment that uses individually-tailored vaccines to protect the immune system is attracting a lot of attention and investment. In particular, as the German business daily Handelsblatt noted at the start of 2018, “U.S. investors are betting on the German biotech star.”
Mainz-based BioNTech has been bankrolled for the past decade by the former owners of the generic drugs company Hexal, Thomas and Andreas Strüngmann. In January, the Strüngmann brothers made a fresh commitment to the company in its latest “Series A” financing round, where they were joined by American investment houses Redmile, Invus, and Fidelity, and Janus Henderson Investors from the U.K., among others. Raising an impressive $270m (€225m) in fresh capital, it was the largest Series A round of financing ever offered to a German biotech company and one of the largest in Europe. In total, the company has secured close to $950m in investment since it was founded in 2008.