National Geographic has greenlit The Cancer Vaccine (working title), a new documentary special from Oxford Films.

The doc will follow Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci – the husband-and-wife team who built German biotechnology giant BioNTech – as they and their team race competitors, skeptics, governments and cancer itself to create an entirely new class of medicines that use the body’s own defenses to defeat cancer.

“The Cancer Vaccine will give viewers a front-row seat to one of the biggest events in history unfolding in real time – the scientists racing to find a potential cure for cancer,” said Tom McDonald, executive vice president of Global Factual and Unscripted Content, National Geographic. “With unprecedented inside access, we are honored to be able to shine a light on the heroes – the scientists, patients and people, who are working to combat this disease that affects far too many of our friends, families and neighbors.”

Imagine a world where a cancer diagnosis – even the most aggressive kind – no longer means brutal chemotherapy or a death sentence and a world where every individual cancer patient gets a bespoke drug, individually tailored to the unique genetics of their tumor, which could keep patients cancer-free for the rest of their lives.

The Cancer Vaccine will take viewers to the frontlines of breakthrough science alongside the scientists, researchers and patients at the heart of this extraordinary endeavor, culminating in a story of inspiration, heartbreak, suffering and joy.

Directed by BAFTA-winning filmmaker Patrick Forbes (“The Phantom,” “Wikileaks: Secrets and Lies”), the documentary special will be there “every step of the way as the BioNTech team strives to turn promising results for a few patients into a miracle cure for the world.”

From National Geographic Content, The Cancer Vaccine is produced in partnership with Oxford Films. For Oxford Films, Nick Kent and Simon Finch are executive producers and Patrick Forbes is director. For National Geographic, Simon Raikes is commissioning editor and Tom McDonald is executive vice president, Global Factual and Unscripted Content.

Jon Creamer

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