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Almost a decade ago, Flagship Pioneering, a VC fund run and majority-owned by Moderna Inc’s (NASDAQ: MRNA) chairman and co-founder, Noubar Afeyan, poured cash into the company, even when Moderna had faced some early setbacks.
Over the last 13 months, since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic, Flagship has sold off Moderna shares worth more than $1.4 billion, as reported by Forbes.
The most recent sales came in late February and March this year when two Flagship funds, Fund IV and Fund IV-RX, sold off 53% of their stake in the company.
Noubar Afeyan put the sales into motion days after the company’s COVID-19 vaccine was authorized by the FDA in December last year.
The funds also sold 1 million shares for $68.2 million (pretax) in May 2020.
According to SEC filings, Afeyan owns at least 75% of Flagship, and the firm directly owns 4% of Flagship Ventures Fund IV but doesn’t own any of Flagship Ventures Fund IV-Rx.
Moderna’s CEO Stéphane Bancel sold around 1.7 million shares, about 7% of his stake for $161.2 million since March 2020. He still owns a 6% stake in the company, part of an estimated $5.5 billion net worth that includes about $1.5 billion in Moderna options.
The next biggest seller was Moderna’s chief medical officer, Tal Zaks, who made $108.2 million from the sale of the shares.
On the other hand, the founding investor, Timothy Springer, and co-founder Robert Langer have benefited from the stupendous share price growth. Still, neither has sold a share since the company was founded in 2010.
Price Action: MRNA shares are down 0.6% at $168.44 in market trading hours on the last check Thursday.
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