Pfizer's Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla sold $5.6 million of his stock in the US pharmaceutical company on the same day the firm announced assuring results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, the filings showed on Wednesday. The company's shares surged after Pfizer and European drug company BioNTech announced that their vaccine showed 90 percent efficacy based on the early data.
According to a CNN Business report, the sale of company stocks was part of a pre-arranged periodic divestment plan when the stock reaches a certain price. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bourla sold 132,508 Pfizer (PFE) shares at a price of $41.94 on Monday, November 9. Meanwhile, an executive vice president at the company, Sally Susman, also sold around $1.8 million in stock or 43,662 shares.
Pfizer shares increased by nearly 8 percent on Monday but went flat on Tuesday. Meanwhile, German company BioNTech's stock has also soared to 15 percent on Monday and another 8 percent on Tuesday. However, Pfizer's stock fell more than 1 percent on Wednesday. The drug companies stock sale came just a few months after executives at Moderna (MRNA), a biotech company also working on a COVID-19 vaccine, sold shares following the release of promising trial results.
Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, November 9 was revealed to have shown more than 90 percent efficacy in preventing coronavirus, the preliminary results have now paved the way for the companies to seek an emergency-use authorisation from the regulators if further research shows the shot is also safe. While the COVID-19 infections recently passed the grim milestone of 50 million cases, American pharmaceutical company Pfizer said that the interim analysis of its vaccine produced along with its German partner BioNTech group has shown promising results.
The recent findings are based on an interim analysis conducted after 94 participants contracted COVID-19. According to a Bloomberg report, the trial will continue until 164 cases have occurred. If the data hold up and the key safety readout Pfizer expects in about a week also looks good, it could mean the world has a vital new tool to control the pandemic. The recent development could also bode well for the other experimental vaccines, in particular one being developed by Moderna Inc. that uses similar technology.