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Moderna’s founders make their debut on Forbes’ top 400 wealthy list after cashing in on the pandemic

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Three billionaires with interests in Moderna — co-founders Noubar Afeyan and Robert Langer, and investor Timothy Springer — made it onto Forbes’ list of the 400 richest Americans this year after their company released one of three FDA-approved COVID vaccines. .

Each of the men is worth more than $3.5 billion and they were added to the Forbes list Tuesday based on SEC filings, September stock prices and other financial data.

Since Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, 152 million doses have been administered. The company was the first to test the vaccine on humans, further increasing its stock value.

Although the pandemic has destroyed hundreds of millions of jobs worldwide, the 400 richest people in the country saw their fortunes grow by a collective 40 percent, according to Forbes.

The publication’s most recent list featured the most new names since 2007, most in the financial, tech and healthcare sectors.

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Moderna has been reprimanded for selling early doses of their RNA-based vaccine to the countries that bid the highest and for the extreme wealth generated by its investors.

However, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel has said he expects vaccines to become available to “everyone on Earth” next year.

Together with competing vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and their German partner BioNTech, the company raised billions of dollars in vaccine sales. Johnson & Johnson and Europe’s Astrozeneca said they don’t plan to benefit from their vaccines.

Noubar Afeyan, 59, the current chairman of Moderna, is ranked 212th with a net worth of approximately $3.7 billion

Timothy Springer initially invested $5 million in Moderna and now owns 3.5 percent of the company's stock.  Currently, the Harvard Medical School professor is worth $4.4 billion and ranks 176 on the list.

Timothy Springer initially invested $5 million in Moderna and now owns 3.5 percent of the company’s stock. Currently, the Harvard Medical School professor is worth $4.4 billion and ranks 176 on the list.

Robert Langer, number 222 on the list, owns 3 percent of Moderna's stock and has never sold one.  Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Is Worth $3.5 Billion

Robert Langer, number 222 on the list, owns 3 percent of Moderna’s stock and has never sold one. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Is Worth $3.5 Billion

Afeyan, 59, the current chairman of Moderna, was ranked 212th according to Forbes with a net worth of approximately $3.7 billion as of Oct. 6. The engineer, who was born in Beirut to Armenian parents, moved to Montreal in 1975 during the Lebanon civil war.

According to Forbes, he has helped set up more than 70 life sciences and technology companies and owns shares in 12 publicly traded biotech companies.

Throughout his career, Noubar Afeyan has helped establish more than 70 life sciences and technology companies, and owns shares in 12 publicly traded biotech companies, according to Forbes.

Throughout his career, Noubar Afeyan has helped establish more than 70 life sciences and technology companies, and owns shares in 12 publicly traded biotech companies, according to Forbes.

Springer initially invested $5 million in Moderna and now owns 3.5 percent of the company’s stock. Currently, the Harvard Medical School professor is worth $4.4 billion and ranks 176 on the list. He owns shares in three smaller biotech companies: Selecta Biosciences, Scholar Rock and Morphic Therapeutic.

Langer, number 222 on the list, owns 3 percent of Moderna’s stock and has never sold one. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor is worth $3.5 billion. He owns shares in SQZ Biotechnologies, Seer and Sigilon Therapeutics, which were founded by him and postdoctoral students from his lab.

He is considered the most cited engineer in history, with over 350,000 citations. He has published more than 1,500 articles and holds more than 1,400 patents and patent applications, more than 400 of which are licensed by pharmacology and biotech companies.

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