Vaccine maker's CEO sold millions in stock before J&J doses were ruined: report

Vaccine maker's CEO sold millions in stock before J&J doses were ruined: report
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The president and CEO of Emergent BioSolutions sold off more than $10 million worth of his company's stock shortly before millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine were ruined at a Baltimore facility run by the multinational biopharmaceutical company, The Washington Post reported.

Robert G. Kramer sold off shares of his company in late January and early February valued at more than $10 million, according to the Post, which added that those shares are now worth around $5.5 million. In March, it was revealed that 15 million doses of the J&J vaccine had been ruined after contamination.

“All of Mr. Kramer’s sales were previously scheduled under 10b5-1 trading plans,” Emergent spokesperson Nina DeLorenzo told the Post. 


“Mr. Kramer, our executive team, and our board of directors are held to the highest ethical standards and follow strict compliance with all laws and regulations governing financial transactions," DeLorenzo added. "Any insinuation of wrongdoing is without evidence or merit."

The Hill has reached out to Emergent for comment.

The Post reports that this was Kramer's first substantial sale of Emergent stock since 2016. That sale in 2016, along with the sales made by other executives, was the subject of a lawsuit by investors who alleged that company leaders sold their shares shortly after making misleading claims about a government order for an anthrax vaccine, it noted.

Though the company denied the allegations, it reportedly agreed to a settlement paying investors $6.5 million.

It was previously reported by the Post that Kramer had received a 51 percent pay increase in 2020, receiving $5.6 million. The pay increase was reportedly decided on after the company's manufacturing business expanded.

This pay increase included $1.4 million in stock options, $2.1 million from stock awards and a $1.2 million bonus, according to the newspaper.

The Food and Drug Administration last week found that that the Emergent plant in Baltimore was "not maintained in a clean and sanitary condition" and ordered a pause on manufacturing at the facility.

The New York Times also reported earlier in April that Emergent had discarded a five lots of AstraZeneca vaccines in October due to suspected contaminated. Each lot is estimated to have around 2 million to 3 million doses of the vaccine.