In the fight against coronavirus, a vaccine test is almost always a boost for pharmaceutical stocks.
The shares of Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co. has risen 80% since the vaccine manufacturer revealed in late June that China's drug regulator approved clinical human testing of a COVID-19 vaccine. With a rally of 256% this year through Wednesday, the stock is the best performer in the ChiNext index. It fell 7.6% from the lunch break on Thursday.
The gains have pushed the fortunes of Jiang Rensheng, Zhifei's chairman, to $ 19.4 billion, putting him close to joining the exclusive club of China's 10 richest people dominated by tech and real estate, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His net worth more than doubled in July alone, the fastest wave among the world's 500 richest people, and increases by $ 1
Wealth is not the real measure of success, it is social responsibility, Jiang told students at his alma mater in May 2019. His company sells vaccines against diseases such as influenza and meningitis and is China's sole marketer of a Merck & Co. treatment to prevent cervical cancer.
Zhifei reported a net income of 1.5 billion yuan for the first six months of 2020, an increase of 30% from last year. It said the coronavirus vaccine is undergoing Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials.
The company has produced at least one billionaire. Wu Guanjiang, a former director with an 8% stake in the company, has more than doubled his fortune to $ 4.5 billion this year. Wu left the board of directors in Zhifei in 2015, according to a filing.
Zhifei did not respond to a request for comment.
With the outbreak of the virus, proportions of drug makers have broken down this year, lifting the wealth of their founders and board chairmen. A meeting with 171% in Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products Co. took chairman Du Weimin's fortune to $ 5.4 billion, while his ex-wife, Yuan Liping, is now Canada's third richest woman with $ 5.5 billion.
Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co. , whose COVID-19 test was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has jumped 30 times since its first public offering in April, bringing its fortune to $ 19.4 billion.
In the United States, the biotechnology company Moderna Inc., Which works with a COVID-19 vaccine, has produced at least three billionaires, including professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. Its shares have almost quadrupled this year.
While Jiang's net worth rose fastest among the world's 500 richest people in July, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Mukesh Ambani raised more money than him. They added more than $ 14.5 billion each to their fortunes last month, according to the Bloomberg Fortune Index.
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