NEW DELHI: Ugur Sahin just reached another milestone. The co-founder of BioNTech SE on Thursday joined the world’s 500 richest people after the UK this week approved use of a vaccine that the German firm created with Pfizer Inc.
BioNTech’s shares have jumped almost 8% this week and are up over 250% for the year. Sahin is now the 493rd-richest person on the planet with a net worth of $5.1 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Sahin didn’t reply to a request for comment.
Turkish-born scientist Sahin is the sole shareholder of a German firm that controls an 18% stake in BioNTech, which raised $150 million from its US initial public offering last year, filings show. Sahin joins Germany’s Struengmann brothers among the world’s 500 richest. They own about half of BioNTech and their fortune is estimated at more than $24 billion combined.
The race to produce a Covid-19 vaccine has also lifted a group of investors at Moderna. Shares of the Massachusetts based firm have surged over 700% this year, making billionaires of some early investors, including MIT professor Bob Langer and Harvard professor Tim Springer, as well as CEO Stephane Bancel, who is now worth $4.9 billion.