A small group of scientists, execs, and VCs are $277 million richer as their companies race to create a coronavirus vaccine. Here are 7 who have raked in huge sums.

ModernaTablets allow Moderna employees to monitor daily operations.
  • Gilead,Moderna, and Novavax have all enjoyed massive gains after announcing potential coronavirus drugs, leading their executives, scientists, and early investors to rake in millions.
  • The profits come as global markets tank on growing coronavirus concerns.
  • Moderna has gained the most of the three since Friday’s close, jumping 60% after announcing on Monday it submitted the first coronavirus vaccine for human trials.
  • Here are the seven shareholders to collectively profit $US277 million from the surging biotech stocks.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Three biotech stocks are surging on the possibility of coronavirus drugs and minting millions of dollars for their biggest shareholders.

Gilead,Moderna, and Novavax have all outperformed the falling stock market in recent days as the three drug developers rush to introduce preventative vaccines and treatments. The coronavirus has caused more than 2,800 deaths and infected more than 82,000 since breaking out in Wuhan, China. The US stock market entered correction territory on Thursday as mounting coronavirus risks sharply dragged on equity prices.

The three biotech firms were among the few winning stocks amid the downturn. Moderna soared through the week after announcing on Monday it submitted the first coronavirus vaccine for human trials. Novavax followed close behind, revealing on Wednesday the development and animal testing of its own vaccine. Gilead gained on Monday after a World Health Organisation official said its experimental coronavirus treatment may be the best shot at curbing COVID-19 fatalities.

Moderna shares are up 60% from Friday’s close to the end of Wednesday’s trading session. Novavax leaped 19.4% over the same period, and Gilead climbed 7.2%.

Here are the seven venture capitalists, scientists, and executives to collectively make $US277 million from the surging biotechs, ranked in ascending order of gains. Profit data is calculated from each stock’s gains from February 21 to February 26.


7. Stanley Erck (Novavax)

Screenshot from CNBCNovavax CEO Stanley Erck

Shares held: 46,776

Gain: $US70,164

About: Erck served as Novavax’s CEO since April 2011.


6. Rajiv Modi (Novavax)

Shares held: 125,000

Gain: $US187,500

About: Modi worked as managing director of Cadila Pharmaceuticals when the firm took an $US11 million stake in Novavax in April 2009. He’s served on Novavax’s board of directors since the joint venture’s announcement.


5. John Milligan (Gilead)

Screenshot via CNBCGilead CEO John Milligan

Shares held: 1,574,306

Gain: $US7,871,530

About: Milligan served as Gilead’s CEO from March 2016 to July 2018.


4. John Martin (Gilead)

Brendan McDermid/ReutersDr. John Martin, C.E.O. of Gilead, speaks at the Reuters Health Summit in New York, November 19, 2008.

Shares held: 2,887,225

Gain: $US14,436,125

About: Martin served as Gilead’s CEO from 1996 to 2016.


3. Timothy Springer (Moderna)

Screenshot from CanadaGairdnerAwardsGordon Hall at the Quadrangle of Harvard Medical School.

Shares held: 4,272,968

Gain: $US46,703,540

About: Springer works as an immunologist at Harvard Medical School and invested $US5 million in Moderna early in the company’s history, according to Bloomberg.


2. Stephane Bancel (Moderna)

Steven Ferdman/Getty ImagesModerna CEO, Stephane Bancel attends 2019 Forbes Healthcare Summit at the Jazz at Lincoln Centre on December 05, 2019 in New York City.

Shares held: 7,456,986

Gain: $US81,504,857

About: Bancel has served as Moderna’s CEO since October 2011 and previously worked for French diagnostics firm bioMérieux as its chief executive.


1. Robert Langer (Moderna)

Brendan Hoffman/Getty ImagesPresident Barack Obama awards the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to Robert Langer in a ceremony at the White House on February 1, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Shares held: 11,509,537

Gain: $US125,799,239

About: Langer sits on Moderna’s board of directors and serves as a professor at MIT. He joined Moderna as an academic co-founder.


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