This Small Elite Group Made Millions From Coronavirus

While the outbreak has claimed more than 3000 lives officially, this small elite group made millions from Coronavirus, courtesy of their association with the biotechs working on Coronavirus vaccine development programs.

This Small Elite Group Made Millions From Coronavirus
This Small Elite Group Made Millions From Coronavirus

The $35 billion vaccine market is dominated by GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi Adventis, Merck and Pfizer. These 4 players represent 85% of the vaccine market. These are the primary players but are by no means alone because there is a global rush out there.

Three biotech stocks are surging on the possibility of coronavirus drugs and minting millions of dollars for their biggest shareholders. GileadModerna, and Novavax have all outperformed the falling stock market in recent days as the three drug developers rush to introduce preventative vaccines and treatments.

Here are the seven venture capitalists, scientists, and executives who made millions 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, according to Markets Insider.


Novavax Inc has a proprietary nanoparticle technology that uses different antigens to give the patient better immune response. This broader response could result in a superior vaccine with a level of adaptability built into the vaccine. The company quickly developed a COVID-19 vaccine candidate and has a track record of vaccine development especially for the MERS and SARS strains. After Novavax revealed the development and animal testing of its own vaccine, its shares leaped 19.4%, making its investors richer by millions.

Stanley Erck

Stanley Erck former CEO of Novavax
Stanley Erck CEO of Novavax. Screenshot from CNBC

Shares held: 46,776

Gain: $70,164

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

Rajiv Modi

Rajiv Modi, Novavax Board of Directors
Rajiv Modi, Novavax Board of Directors. Screenshot from CSIR-CDRI India

Shares held: 125,000

Gain: $187,500

About: Modi worked as managing director of Cadila Pharmaceuticals when the firm took an $11 million stake in Novavax in April 2009. He’s served on Novavax‘s board of directors since the joint venture’s announcement.


Drug developer Gilead shares soared to 16-month high after WHO official said its experimental treatment is best shot for fighting coronavirus. The company soared as much as 6.9% after the open before paring some gains. The jump pushed Gilead’s shares to their highest level since October 2018. Gilead’s stock is up roughly 13% in February, surging on investor hopes that its treatment can be the first to curb the coronavirus outbreak, but experts doubt whether Gilead’s Remdesivir can treat Coronavirus.

John Milligan

John Milligan former Gilead CEO
John Milligan former Gilead CEO. Screenshot via CNBC

Shares held: 1,574,306

Gain: $7,871,530

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

John Martin

John Martin former Gilead CEO
John Martin former Gilead CEO. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Shares held: 2,887,225

Gain: $14,436,125

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


After Moderna shipped the first coronavirus vaccine for human testing, its shares surged as much as 22%. The firm submitted vials of mRNA-1273 to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for a phase one study in the US, according to a press release. Moderna is the first company to push a preventative vaccine for the outbreak to trial.

Timothy Springer

How a Harvard professor made $400 million from Coronavirus Vaccine
Timothy Springer, the Harvard professor made $400 million from Coronavirus vaccine

Shares held: 4,272,968

Gain: $46,703,540

About: Springer works as an immunologist at Harvard Medical School and invested $5 million in Moderna early in the company’s history. The Harvard professor made $400 million from Coronavirus vaccine.

Stephane Bancel

Stephane Bancel former Moderna CEO
Stephane Bancel former Moderna CEO

Shares held: 7,456,986

Gain: $81,504,857

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

Robert Langer

Robert Langer, Moderna's Board of Director
Robert Langer, Moderna’s Board of Director. Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Shares held: 11,509,537

Gain: $125,799,239

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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