Pfizer CHIEF Executive Albert Bourla sold nearly $5.6 million worth of his shares on November 9, a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed, the same day after Pfizer boosted its share price by announcing a boost to its coVID-19 vaccine. Moderna of the United States also welcomed the upcoming release of its vaccine efficacy data, the market is generally optimistic that the effectiveness will be improved.
Bourla made $5.6 million from selling 132,508 shares at an average price of $41.94 per share, according to SEC filings. The transaction is conducted under the SEC’s 10B5-1 trading program, which allows internal employees to sell a predetermined amount of stock on a predetermined date. The rules also stipulate that a 10B5-1 plan is required when insiders cannot access a company’s “material non-public information”. The SEC filing also noted that the deal represented 61.8 percent of his direct and indirect holdings, compared with 81,812 shares he currently owned directly or indirectly.
Bourla joined Pfizer as CHIEF Executive officer in January 2019 and became chairman in January 2020. His total direct compensation in 2019 was $15.6 million, including $1.6 million in salary, according to the company’s proxy. Pfizer Vice CEO Sally Susman also sold 43,662 shares at $41.94 per share under the 10B5-1 trading plan, for a total value of $1.8 million. She still holds 108,804 Shares in Pfizer.
In the US, Donald Trump posted three posts in a row on Twitter, complaining about the suppression by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Democratic Party. He did not announce the positive news about the vaccine until after the US presidential election. Bourla, chief executive of US drug maker Pfizer, clarified the day before yesterday (10 November) that the timing of the announcement had nothing to do with the political situation.
In an interview with CNN, Bourla stressed that the third-party independent monitoring committee initially met on Sunday (November 8) at 8 a.m. local time in the United States and ended its meeting at 1:30 p.m. the same day with the results of the vaccine trials. But he said he had not yet seen the exact data and did not know the results until 2pm on the same day. This has led us voters to believe that there is a political motive behind the release of the news and to resent its influence on the current US presidential election. He reiterated that if data were available before the election, he would release it immediately before the election.
Moderna said yesterday (11 November) that it conducted its first interphase analysis of the late-stage trials of the coVID-19 vaccine under development to determine the vaccine’s efficacy data. The company says it has enough data to send to an independent safety watchdog to make a final decision, and expects to announce the efficacy of the vaccine by the end of the month. At least 53 volunteers are needed for the vaccine to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Moderna’s positive news is encouraging because Moderna vaccines also use messenger RNA (mRNA) in their vaccines, CNN reported. “The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are nearly identical, and we expect to see similar efficacy results from Moderna,” Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH, told the Financial Times. If all goes well, the United States will have two vaccines that work. Pfizer’s messenger RIBONucleic acid technology, which has not yet been approved, has achieved better results than expected.”