Covid-19 roundup: Harvard scientist who invested in Moderna early becomes a pandemic billionaire — and he's giving much of the money away
Covid-19 has vaulted a Harvard professor into the global ranks of billionaires.
Timothy Springer, the soft-spoken, garden-tending, Chinese rock-collecting immunologist made some headlines a couple years ago when it got out that he was the 4th largest shareholder in Moderna, a company that was launching the largest IPO in biotech history. Springer, who made his first fortune from selling his company LeukoSite to Millennium Pharmaceuticals for $100 million, had made an early $5 million investment in the company in 2010 after founder and fellow Harvard scientist Derrick Rossi asked him for advice on how to pitch to venture capitalists, who had consistently passed on his mRNA-based idea. Eventually Rossi found a taker in Flagship, who wanted to build not simply a biotech but essentially a new pharma giant. Moderna went public in 2018. Springer made $400 million overnight.
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