The billionaire co-founder of vaccine maker Moderna says that early investors in the biotech startup should share the credit for the development of the company’s coronavirus vaccine.
Professor Robert Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT and serial entrepreneur, told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age the pandemic had shown the true dividends from backing an early stage company.
“I feel we are incredibly fortunate that companies like Moderna and BioNtech existed [when the pandemic started]. If those companies weren’t here I can only imagine where we’d be,” he said.
“I give the investors a lot of credit - that was key. A lot of people say the United States [funding] was responsible for a lot of things Moderna did, but really, the investors, they put the money in way before.”
Dr Langer, who is estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $US4 billion ($5.5 billion), will be a keynote speaker at the 2021 Sohn Hearts and Minds virtual conference in December. He will address investors who are hungry for advice on life sciences stocks as the sector booms after a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic.
Other investing legends including Berkshire Hathaway’s Charlie Munger will also share insights with attendees, with all profits going to medical research.
Dr Langer is no stranger to launching successful biotechs. He holds about 800 issued and pending patents and has been involved in the founding of several well-known businesses - the most well known outside of Moderna being cosmetics imprint Living Proof with Jennifer Aniston, which was eventually acquired by Unilever.
He acknowledges the life of a research scientist is not always pleasant, however, and a business needs much more than great science to succeed on the global stage. Beyond scientific potential companies need intellectual property rights, a cutting-edge platform that can be used for more than one treatment, and access to strong business minds.
“To make a great company you need all of them,” Dr Langer said.
Then there’s the backing of early investors, which proved critical to allowing companies such as Moderna to develop the technology that was used for the vaccine when the pandemic hit.
In Australia, just one key institutional investor was in early: Platinum Asset Management’s healthcare fund backed Moderna from its initial public offering in 2018.
Moderna is also set to develop closer ties with Australia after confirming it plans to base its Asia Pacific medical affairs team here.
Dr Langer said the company wants to be on every continent. “Moderna’s intent is to be a fully global entity - the goal is to help as many people as possible.”
COVID-19 has thrust Moderna onto the world stage and it has become critical to the recovery from the pandemic. The company’s shares have risen 1779 per cent return since it listed on the US tech-heavy Nasdaq index in late 2018.
Despite the success of a variety of vaccines, equitable access to doses has remained a challenge over the past 18 months. Dr Langer said the distribution of doses was the challenge for the world rather than the number available. “There is an enormous number of doses not being used,” he said.
He believes there has been a lack of cohesive global leadership on the path to recovery.“You need some kind of leadership worldwide - and I don’t think it’s been there.”
Professor Robert Langer is a keynote speaker at the Sohn Hearts & Minds 2021 Virtual Conference on December 3. Tickets are on sale now at sohnheartsandminds.com.au
This article was originally posted by The Sydney Morning Herald here.
Licensed by Copyright Agency. You must not copy this work without permission.
Regal Funds Management has upended its short selling approach to combat the pressures of a rising bull market, focusing instead on share price blips that have included so-called meme stock GameStop, according to chief investment officer Phil King.
An experienced investor with a track record of short selling, King will be the only fund manager on the day tipping a short stock at the annual Australian Sohn Conference on Friday.
Cooper Investors’ Qiao Ma says that despite cordless power tools provider Techtronic Industries being an industrials company, it’s really a technology company at heart.
Peter Cooper, the founder of Cooper Investors, HM1 Core Fund Manager, shares his learnings from Charlie Munger.
Fund manager, Qiao Ma has tipped Hong Kong based global power tools and outdoor equipment company Techtronic Industries at the Sohn Hearts & Minds conference on Friday.
Hamish Corlett is the only stock picker in the history of the Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Conference to pitch exactly the same company twice.
Jay Kahn of Flight Deck Capital has pitched Nikkei-listed Bengo4 as his stock pick for this year’s Sohn Hearts & Minds conference, following the recent acceptance of the electronic signature in Japan due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There is no bigger or unsolved problem than taxes which remains consuming, complicated and error prone. Businesses still manage their taxes with a combination of pen and paper and excel and the complexities are only increasing. Babak Poushanchi says Avalara, based in Seattle, is solving the problem.
Firetrail Investments’ Eleanor Swanson has tipped ASX listed telco software company, Megaport, as the best stock for 2022 at the annual Sohn Hearts & Minds Conference.
Beeneet Kothari of Tekne Capital Management has chosen Delivery Hero as his stock pick at the Sohn Hearts & Minds conference, saying it is the best way to play the innovation and last-mile logistics trend.
Yen Liow, managing partner of Aravt Global has pitched Gitlab, a founder-led software business that is focused on DevOps at the Sohn Hearts & Minds Conference. Liow stumbled upon the company while researching Atlassian, which itself generated 20 times the return on capital since its IPO.
Regal Funds Management co founder, Phil King is recommending that investors sell shares in travel company Flight Centre, arguing that the stock has rebounded too strongly since its lows of last year with the company still facing headwinds with the shift to online travel bookings.
Munro Partners’ Nick Griffin has pitched Nasdaq-listed Onsemi as his stock pick at this year’s Sohn Hearts & Minds conference, labelling it the ‘hidden hero’ of the path to decarbonisation.
Builders Unions', Markus Bihler pitched Wise at the sixth annual Sohn Hearts & Minds Conference. Over the next five years, the fund manager expects the target share price to hit 30 pounds by 2027, a 27 per cent five year annualised return.
FACT Capitals' Joyce Meng pitched Beauty Health Company at the sixth annual Sohn Hearts and Minds Conference. Meng is forecasting 30 per cent durable and organic growth driven by accelerating equipment placements and a price target of $40 a share for 40 per cent upside.
Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger, a longtime partner of Warren Buffett, has made his first appearance at the sixth annual Sohn conference in Australia on Friday.
Jay Kahn’s Flight Deck fund seeks out stocks in “roads least travelled”, and Kahn reckons it has unearthed a “multi-bagger”: Bengo4, which he describes as Japan’s DocuSign.
Firetrail’s Eleanor Swanson believes Megaport is currently one of the best stories on the sharemarket, and has the potential to join the ranks of Australian-founded technology companies such as Atlassian and Afterpay.
It’s an “age of instant gratification”, according to Tekne Capital Management’s Beeneet Kothari, and he is picking restaurant delivery group Delivery Hero to ride the innovation in last-mile logistics in the $US1 trillion takeaway food sector.
Spotify’s market-leading position in the future of audio will catapult the business to among the so-called FAANG stocks alongside the likes of Apple and Amazon, powering revenue growth and its share price, according to Hamish Corlett, co-founder of TDM Growth Partners.
Fresh from picking last year’s 180 per cent gainer Nasdaq-listed Bill.com and other big winners such as DocuSign three years ago, Babak Poushanchi is back at Sohn in 2021 with another stock pick. This year the Cota Capital founder and tech-focused investor has named Seattle-based tax software business Avalara as his top pick.
Regal’s Phil King says he’s the only Australian hedge fund manager brave enough or silly enough to return to Sohn Hearts & Minds to pitch a short stock during one of the biggest bull markets of all time.
Griffin expects the car market will be 50 per cent electric by 2030. He likes Onsemi in particular because of its management, and the fact it is being priced as an industrial semiconductor producer.
Joyce Meng of Fact Capital says investors should take advantage of growing skincare spends.
Berkshire Hathaway’s veteran 97-year-old investor Charlie Mungert warns that he views today’s markets as wildly overvalued in places.
Atreides Management’s Gavin Baker has picked cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global at the Sohn conference, believing in its growth opportunities as more people embrace the crypto world.
Yen Liow, founder and portfolio manager of Aravt Global, has a bullish take on Nasdaq-listed software development company GitLab, which he expects to soar in the coming years.
Eley Griffiths small-cap portfolio manager David Allingham has picked Ian Macoun’s multi-boutique funds management group Pinnacle Investment Management as his top stock pick for the Sohn Conference 2021.
Builders Union’s Markus Bihler has picked the freshly listed London-based fintech Wise as his top pick at the 2021 Sohn Hearts & Minds Conference.
Moderna will know in just over a week how effective its COVID-19 vaccine is against the omicron strain, according to the company’s co-founder Robert Langer, who presented at the sixth annnual Sohn Hearts and Minds Conference.
Charlie Munger, the 97-year-old investor and polymath who has been the trusted sidekick of Warren Buffett for decades shared his thoughts on markets, investing and geopolitics in a wide-ranging interview broadcast as part of the Sohn Hearts & Minds Investment Conference.
From e-signatures to last-mile logistics and facials, the annual conference showed that waves of disruption continue to break in different ways across different sectors
Investment legend Charlie Munger says the current climate on global markets is crazier than the dot-com bubble two decades ago, as he savaged the boom in cryptocurrencies as insane and backed China’s ban on the digital assets.
Regal Funds Management’s Phil King says it’s a tough market for short sellers but it didn’t stop him from nominating a prominent one at Sohn Hearts and Minds today: FlightCentre.
Moderna’s co-founder expects the biotech’s vaccine will be at least somewhat effective against the Omicron variant, but says his company can quickly pump out variant-specific boosters for new strains when needed.
Pinnacle Investment Management is a multi-boutique fund manager that owns stakes in 16 Australian fund managers across Australia of between 23 to 49 per cent. It is led by CEO Ian Macoun who is said to be famous for picking star portfolio managers.
Gavin Baker, managing partner and CIO of Atreides Management, a $4.5bn crossover firm based in Massachusetts, recommends investors hold Coinbase, a platform for investing in cryptocurrency.
Moderna co-founder Robert Langer has suggested the vaccine maker will know within days if its mRNA Covid-19 vaccine is effective against the new variant, Omicron, as he predicted future mutations and the likelihood of the virus becoming “something life flu” that will require regular vaccine boosters.
Moderna co-founder Robert Langer has said he’s confident the company’s vaccine will be effective against the omicron strain of COVID-19, but not as effective as it is against the original variant. “But that doesn’t mean it won’t be effective,” said Mr Langer.
Fund Manager Mark Nelson of Caledonia to interview Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger at the sixth annual Sohn Hearts and Minds Conference.
Eleanor Swanson of Firetrail Investments sat down with Equity Mates Media ahead of this year's conference. Eleanor shares the story of her first investment, breaks down the small cap landscape and shares some of the best companies that she's come across during her time in the markets.
For all that heavyweight finance names Michael Walsh, David Paradice, Matthew Grounds and Gary Weiss have in common professionally, one thing they can’t seem to find consensus on is music.
Babak Poushanchi, one of the legends of the Sohn Hearts & Minds conference, has opened up about his approach to riding the disruptive technology boom.
Conference Manager Joyce Meng's FACT Capital is proof that the existing Wall Street model could be wildly improved upon.
Cota Capital’s Babak Poushanchi emerged the top picker from the 2020 Sohn Hearts & Minds Conference, with his pick, bill.com, share price up more than 200 per cent.
Yen Liow of Aravt Global sat down with Equity Mates Media ahead of this year's conference. Yen shares the story of his first investment, Aravt's investment philosophy, his thoughts on the future of the payments industry and why he's excited to be a part of the Hearts & Minds family.
Hearts and Minds Investments Limited (ASX:HM1)'s Chief Investment Officer Rory Lucas and founding Hearts & Minds supporter Phil King of Regal Funds Management recently spoke with the hosts of You're In Good Company, an Equity Mates Media podcast.
Returning Conference Manager Beeneet Kothari talks 'quick commerce', a topic at the heart of his stock pick for the 2021 Sohn Hearts & Minds Conference.
Returning Conference Manager Nick Griffin of Munro Partners attempts to capitalise on the climate change thematic that it has declared as the biggest investment opportunity since the internet.
New Conference Manager Eleanor Swanson was instrumental in convincing the investment team at Firetrail Investments to buy into AfterPay.
As a rising star within Firetrail Investment Management, Eleanor Swanson was instrumental in getting the firm to back Afterpay when it was trading at just $20, winning over the senior investment managers.
Eley Griffiths Group portfolio manager David Allingham says the Sohn Hearts and Minds Conference is the Australian investment management industry’s answer to the Woodstock Festival.
Returning Conference Manager Qiao Ma is planning to tip a Hong Kong-based consumer brand player when she fronts the annual Sohn Hearts & Minds conference next month.
Returning Conference Manager Beeneet Kothari sat down with Equity Mates to discuss his first investment, views on China and Cryptocurrency, and why he loves being involved in the Sohn Hearts & Minds Conference.
The payments sector has entered a golden era, says Avart Global’s Yen Liow, who hails from Melbourne.
The powerful technology that has enabled mRNA vaccines to save millions of lives during the coronavirus pandemic has much broader potential, according Bob Langer, one of the co-founders of Moderna.
Professor Robert Langer, the billionaire co-founder of vaccine maker Moderna says that early investors in the biotech startup should share the credit for the development of the company’s coronavirus vaccine.
Moderna co-founder Robert Langer says vaccine development for a range of diseases – not just Covid-19 – will be one of the biggest trends among biotechnology in coming years.
Beeneet Kothari admits it’s been a ‘bloodbath’ for Chinese tech stocks this year, but there are two good reasons he thinks the sentiment will shift.
Warren Buffett’s right-hand man Charlie Munger is the headline act at Sohn Hearts and Minds this year and the 97-year-old investment legend is expected to offer forthright views on global financial markets which are now at a critical juncture.
Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's trusted man, to headline Sohn Hearts & Minds 2021 Conference.
Charlie Munger, who will headline this year’s Sohn Hearts & Minds Conference, places one quality above all else: patience.
Charlie Munger, American billionaire investor and vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway to headline Sohn Hearts & Minds 2021 Conference.