Moderna chief sells shares in wake of next week vaccine filing

Moderna Inc chief executive officer, Stephane Bancel, sold another $1.74 million of shares last week as the world awaits the biotech company to file its vaccine for emergency use in the US. The shares in Cambridge, Massachusetts based Moderna climbed as much as 4.3% to $101.77 on Monday.

The sale comes after Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE became the first companies to complete a submission for a vaccine to the US regulators on Friday. Moderna is likely to file its vaccine next week, Morgan Stanley analysts said.


Bancel sold 9,000 directly owned shares and 10,000 indirectly owned shares at an average price of $91.73 starting on November 18, according to the filing. The recent rally lifted Bancel’s net worth to $3.1 billion, based mainly on his 6% stake in the business as Bancel and other freshly minted billionaires gained over $400 million last Monday on the heels of encouraging trial news.

Bancel and other Moderna executives have been steadily selling off their stakes throughout the pandemic. These plans let insiders sell shares at set times and prices without facing insider trading accusations and have faced increasing scrutiny as of late.

Last week, Dow Jones reported the outgoing Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton called for a “cooling-off period” on such trades. Earlier this month, Pfizer executives used such a plan to sell shares.

With Pfizer’s vaccine already been filed for an emergency use authorization, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Matthew Harrison expect the drug-making giant’s shot to be authorized in mid-December and Moderna’s shot within a week of that.