Pfizer CEO sold $5.6 Mn stock on vaccine announcement day


Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sold $ 5.6 million worth of company stock on Monday — the same day it said its and BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective.

Axios reported the same day the Pfizer stock soared almost 8 per cent.

As per the Axios report, the stock sale is perfectly legal through a predetermined plan called Rule 10b5-1 but the optics aren’t great.

A Pfizer spokesperson did not add any new information in a statement, saying the sale was part of a predetermined plan created in August, the report said.

Business Insider reported that the Pfizer CEO cashed out 60 per cent of his stock on the same day the company unveiled the results of its Covid-19 vaccine trial.

Bourla sold 132,508 shares at an average price of $41.94 per share as per filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The stock has been sold almost at the highs of year, according to the report.

Pfizer and Biontech announced on Monday that the vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 in participants without evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection in the first interim efficacy analysis.

The analysis evaluated 94 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in trial participants. The study enrolled 43,538 participants, with 42 per cent having diverse backgrounds, and no serious safety concerns have been observed; Safety and additional efficacy data continue to be collected.

Submission for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) planned for soon after the required safety milestone is achieved, which is currently expected to occur in the third week of November.

The companies said the clinical trial to continue through to final analysis at 164 confirmed cases in order to collect further data and characterize the vaccine candidate’s performance against other study endpoints.

“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 Covid-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent Covid-19,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO.

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