Elizabeth Nabel steps down as president of Brigham and Women's Hospital to team up with husband's biotech joint — report
The president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a renowned nonprofit medical center in Boston, is reportedly stepping down from her position to join her husband — Sanofi’s former CSO — in the biotech sector.
Elizabeth Nabel and BWH announced she would depart as president on March 1 after spending 11 years at the hospital. She will team up with her husband, Gary Nabel, who left the top R&D job at Sanofi in October to launch his own biotech developing immune therapies for cancer and infectious diseases, according to the Boston Globe.
“I really want to spend time driving biotech innovation by advising companies and serving on boards,” she told the Globe. “This is where I believe I can have the greatest impact.”
It’s not immediately clear how far off the ground the Nabels’ new biotech is. BWH declined to comment to Endpoints News on Elizabeth Nabel’s behalf.
Nabel has served as the president of BWH for the last 11 years, and told the Globe she had planned to step down after a decade at the helm. But the Covid-19 pandemic complicated matters and she decided to stay on until the first vaccines had been authorized.
Her run at BWH has been highly successful for the hospital, as she led fundraising efforts since 2010 that have brought in $1.75 billion, roughly half of which went to research. She also helped grow the hospital’s revenue to $5 billion per year.
Nabel’s role as president hasn’t been her only job over that time period, however, as she was a board member for Moderna from 2015 until this past July. She resigned from that position, following OWS chief Moncef Slaoui out the door, after increasing scrutiny into the timing of Moderna executives’ stock transactions.
Specifically with regards to Nabel, concerns arose over the optics of Nabel running a hospital where Moderna tested its Covid-19 vaccines. At the time, Flagship chief and Moderna chair Noubar Afeyan said the move was made out of “an abundance of caution” to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
BWH had not begun recruiting participants for Moderna’s Phase III study when Nabel resigned, and was one of 87 sites nationwide where volunteers received doses of the now-authorized vaccine.
On July 15, Nabel redeemed about 60,000 of an available 168,868 Moderna stock options, and subsequently sold 73,975 shares as part of a trading plan revised in late May. The sale netted Nabel $6.5 million.
Similar trading plans enacted by Moderna execs Stéphane Bancel, Stephen Hoge and Tal Zaks drew heavy media attention last year, as Zaks’ plan was amended in March and Hoge’s in June. Bancel’s had been in place since 2018.