Pfizer CEO sold $5.6 million of stock as company announced vaccine data that sent shares soaring

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Pfizer CEO sold $5.6 million of stock as company announced vaccine data that sent shares soaring
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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sold almost $5.6 million worth of stock on Monday, the same day the drugmaker announced positive early data on its experimental coronavirus vaccine that sent shares soaring.

Shares of Pfizer jumped by almost 15% on Monday after the company and its partner BioNTech said its vaccine was more than 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 among those in the trial without evidence of prior infection.

Bourla sold 132,508 shares at an average price of $41.94 per share, or nearly $5.6 million, according to a securities filing. The sale was part of a pre-scheduled 10b5-1 trading plan, which was adopted on Aug. 19, the filing shows, as the company was enrolling participants in its late-stage trial.

It’s unclear when Bourla found out about the positive vaccine data, though another executive, Dr. Kathrin Jansen, the head of vaccine research and development at Pfizer, told The New York Times she learned of the results at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

The sale accounted for 61.8% of the shares owned both directly and indirectly by Bourla. He still owns 81,812 either directly or indirectly, the filings show. Pfizer confirmed the sale in a statement and added that Bourla has a larger holding in the company through the company’s “qualified and nonqualified savings plans,” which likely means stock options.