Moderna CEO sold more than $400 million in company stock during pandemic
( NYPost )
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel has sold $408 million in company stock since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, during which the firm’s share price soared more than 600% while it developed and rolled out its vaccine.
The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech firm developed the second-most popular vaccine used to combat COVID-19 in the United States.
The shot jointly developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is the most widely used vaccine in the US.
Since January 2020, Bancel cashed out stock options through the 10b5-1 plan which allows executives to sell a predetermined number of shares at regular intervals to avoid the possibility of insider trading, according to CNBC.
But critics say that 10b5-1 doesn’t allow for transparency since executives aren’t required to disclose these transactions to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Post has reached out to Moderna seeking comment.
In total, Bancel sold more than 2.8 million shares of the company since January 2020.
Last year, Moderna turned its first-ever profit in the 12 years of its existence. It generated $17.7 billion in sales of its COVID-19 vaccine, which it rapidly developed in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health.
Moderna also benefited from taxpayer assistance through Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s plan to quickly research and develop a coronavirus vaccine.
The Moderna vaccine, the only product that the company has made which has proven a commercial success, has transformed Bancel into a billionaire. His net worth is now estimated at $5.3 billion.
Last year, Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio called on the SEC to reform the 10b5-1 rule.
Earlier this year, Bancel said he anticipates people will need a second COVID-19 booster shot this fall as the vaccine’s efficacy wanes over the next few months.
Moderna announced during its third-quarter earnings results that commercial booster market sales could reach $2 billion in the United States in 2022.