72-year-old Harvard prof rides 17,000% return in a single stock to become a billionaire

72-year-old Harvard prof rides 17,000% return in a single stock to become a billionaire

Corona- Billionaire, Timothy Springer thought his fortune was excessive, even before he became a billionaire.

The Harvard University medical professor’s riches are much bigger now, thanks to his stake in Moderna Inc., the US biotechnology firm attempting to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. Shares in the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company surged 152 per cent this year through Wednesday, boosting Springer’s net worth to more than $1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Springer, 72, is among those who have benefited financially from a pandemic that has grounded the global economy to a halt and destroyed more than 20 million American jobs.

Others are former DocuSign Chairman Keith Krach and Zoom Video Communications Inc founder Eric Yuan, whose net worth has more than doubled this year to $7.4 billion as demand for its teleconferencing service exploded.

Springer didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, while a Moderna spokeswoman declined to comment.


How he blew up big time

Moderna went public in late 2018, bursting onto the Wall Street scene as the biggest biotech IPO in history.

Timothy Springer, a Harvard medical-school professor, saw his stake in the company fatten his bottom line by a whopping $320 million by the end of the trading day.

Springer made his first killing during the bubble of 1999, when he pocketed $100 million by selling his first venture to Millennium Pharmaceuticals. He took $5 million of that and plugged it into pre-IPO Moderna.

After that, he really got rich.

Less than two years later, and the 72-year-old has ridden a 17,000% return in his Moderna shares — which he paid about $5 million for in the company’s early stages — into the billionaire club, according to the latest figures from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Cambridge, Mass., biotech has jumped 162% this year, as of Wednesday’s close, surging on hopes for its mRNA-1273 coronavirus vaccine, one of the first to begin human trials.

Vaccines are the New Cash Cow

Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine is one of the first to begin human trials. The US Department of Health and Human Services agreed last week to pay more than $400 million for the company to develop the product, which could reach final-stage testing this year if the trial succeeds. There are about 70 vaccines in various stages of development, the World Health Organization said.

The Corona- billionaire is not flustered by his new wealth status and as quietly taken it in his strides. Left to him ‘the gods must be crazy ' as he is not into ramen noodles.

 “I have an academic lifestyle. I’m not into ramen noodles, but my friends are academics, so it doesn’t really behoove me to be flashy,” Springer told Bloomberg at the time. “I feel that I’ve had more than enough wealth for myself for some time. I don’t feel I need more.”