Executives of Moderna Inc. (NASDAQ:MRNA) have been slowly unwinding their position despite the lockup period still being in place.
Moderna executives selling shares ahead of the expiry of the lockup period
In May, in the company’s second cash raise in 2020, there was a $1.3 billion stock sale with company executives and early investors restricted from selling their shares. The insiders got a chance on June 18 of selling their shares and take advantage of the massive rise in Moderna stock. Even before then, some executives were already taking advantage of the 10b5-1 trading plans to sell shares.
However, the plans have been subject to criticism over the possibility of executives circumventing insider trading regulation. The Company’s CEO, Stephane Bancel, has so far sold around 293,000 shares since January, but he still holds around a 1.9% stake worth $460 million. Moderna President Stephen Hoge has since the start of 2020 sold 11,000 shares and has a less than 1% stake worth around $127 million. By May 5, Tal Zaks, the company’s chief medical officer, seems to have sold his entire stake.
Moderna expects to release COVID-19 vaccine efficacy data by Thanksgiving
This latest lockup will expire ahead of the company’s late-stage trials expected to commence at the start of July. There is a positive prospect about the company being among the first to come up with a viable COVID-19 vaccine. The company’s CEO indicated that the company’s vaccine candidate‘s efficacy data could be available as early as Thanksgiving if all goes well.
Moderna is expected to commence its second-stage study and final trial on 30,000 people as from next month. While speaking to Bloomberg Television’s David Rubenstein, Bancel indicated that the best timeline for the release of efficacy data will be by Thanksgiving, that is, if all goes well. He added that following the release of the data, the FDA will decide the next steps, like granting emergence use approval for high-risk people. It is important to note that the FDA takes time to review data before approving a drug for general population use.