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Vaccine May Turn MIT Prof Into a Billionaire

Bob Langer has a stake in Moderna
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2020 2:08 PM CDT
Updated May 23, 2020 10:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Drug-maker Moderna reported good news Monday about a potential COVID-19 vaccine currently being tested. It was also good news—you might even say great news—for an MIT professor who owns a stake in the company. Bloomberg reports that Bob Langer's piece of the pie is now worth nearly $1 billion. Specifically, the 71-year-old's 3.2% holding was worth $934 million, including stock options, as of Monday. In a feature earlier this month, the Boston Globe reported that Langer is a co-founder of Moderna, which is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and regularly attends company videoconferences about the experimental vaccine. Langer, who has a doctorate in chemical engineering, holds roughly 1,400 patents, either issued or pending, per the Globe.

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Moderna's shares rose 20% on Monday to $80 and have more than quadrupled this year. Two others are actually doing better in terms of their financial holdings: Moderna Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel has a stake worth $2.45 billion; Harvard professor Timothy Springer, who made an early investment in the company, now has a stake worth $1.38 billion. Monday's surge came after the company reported that its vaccine produced antibodies in eight human volunteers, though much more testing is needed to determine whether the results hold up and whether the vaccine is safe, notes the AP. Meanwhile, the company hopes to raise $1.3 billion to fund the vaccine by selling stock, per CNBC. (Read more Moderna stories.)

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