The Coronavirus outbreak has affected the world economy, while over four million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. But there are some companies such as Citrix, Clorox, Amazon, Netflix and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which are doing their best business now.
Moderna, which created a potential Coronavirus vaccine that is currently under human trial in the US, made a Harvard Medical School professor a billionaire who thought his fortune was excessive and had enough before becoming one of the richest men in the world. The vaccine development company returned 17,000 per cent on investment.
The billionaire during Coronavirus crisis
Timothy Springer is a Harvard Medical School professor who invested in the Cambridge-based biotechnological company Moderna, which created one of the first vaccines for the novel Coronavirus. In 2018, during an interview, he said, "I've had more than enough wealth for myself for some time. I don't feel I need more."
Thanks to his stake in Moderna, Springer's riches are much higher now. The Massachusettes company surged 162 percent in 2020 through Wednesday, boosting the 72-year-old Harvard professor's net worth to more than $1 billion, revealed the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is among those whose wealth has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. During his interview, Springer said, "I have an academic lifestyle" and "I'm not into Ramen noodles, but my friends are academics, so it doesn't really behove me to be flashy."
It should be noted that Springer is not the only one who has profited from the Coronavirus pandemic while the economy is struggling during the global health crisis. Zoom Video Communications Inc founder Eric Yuan's net worth also increased this year after the lockdown measures in several countries which pushed people to use teleconference services of Zoom to stay connected with others.
Moderna vaccine human trial
As per the World Health Organization (WHO), there are around 70 vaccines which are currently under the developmental stage. The mRNA-1273 is one of the first vaccine, developed by Moderna to be approved for human trials and is expected to reach the final stage of testing this year, if the trial succeeded. As per the reports, last week, the US Department of Health and Human Services agreed to pay over $400 million for the biotech-company to develop the product.
Springer had invested $5 million in Moderna which went public in 2018 and now the stake is worth more than $800 million. While six months ago Moderna was trading at $17 per share, as per recent reports, attempts to find a vaccine against the Coronavirus surged the stock price of the biotech company to more than $51 per share.
The Harvard professor made about $100 million when his first venture LeukoSite was taken over by Millennium Pharmaceuticals in 1999. After this incident, he started investing in different companies. Apart from Moderna, Springer has invested in companies like Selecta Bioscience and Editas Medicine.
Now a billionaire, Springer is a founder of Morphic Therrapaeutics and Scholar Rock Holding, besides running a non-profit organization known as the Institute for Protein Innovation, which aims to reignite the field of protein science as a means to realize the promise of genomics to advance biology and promote human health.