While the coronavirus recession has its fair share of losers in the stock market, there is a segment of companies and investors that hit it big because of the pandemic.
One of them is immunologist and Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Timothy Springer, Ph.D., who just proved that it’s never too late to join the billionaire’s club.
A Wise Investment
When Springer isn’t busy pioneering research in the field of medicine, he’s got his sights focused on investing in the biotechnology industry. His best bet to date is his stake in the Massachusetts-based drug development company, Moderna.
The professor, whose work has applications in treating autoimmune diseases, reportedly put $5 million in the company a couple of years ago. By 2018, Moderna went public and subsequently had the biggest biotech sector IPO in history.
Founded in 2010, Moderna was based on research by Derrick Rossi, a stem cell biologist at Harvard University. It was Rossi who approached his faculty colleague Springer to invest in his project. Springer agreed and became Moderna’s first investor.
Making His First Hundred Million
It’s worth noting that Springer has enjoyed financial success way before Moderna came into the picture. He actually made his first $100 million in the late ‘90s after selling his personal venture LeukoSite to a large pharmaceutical company.
It was from this huge pay that the professor took the $5 million he funded Moderna with.And it looks like Springer spent the rest of his money wisely as he is also the founder of two other companies in the biotechnology sector: Scholar Rock and Morphic Therapeutic.
Before the recent surge in Moderna’s stock, Springer already held $400 million worth of the company’s IPO. He is currently its fourth-largest shareholder.
Considering the coronavirus-caused push Moderna recently saw though, the professor’s stake went to give him a whopping 17,000% return on investment. And at the age of 72, Springer officially became a billionaire.
As Moderna continues to help find a vaccine for the ongoing pandemic, the United States government has reportedly funded the company $438 million to aid in its quest.
Its market cap currently stands at $10 billion. The feat is made even more impressive by the fact that, as of today, none of Moderna’s products have reached the final stages of a clinical trial or received a go signal from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).