05:38 AM EDT, 05/19/2020 (MT Newswires) — Moncef Slaoui, the newly appointed chief scientist of the US government’s COVID-19 vaccine development team, has agreed to divest his $10 million in stock options in Moderna (MRNA), media reported.
Slaoui resigned from the board of the pharmaceutical firm after President Donald Trump appointed him to oversee the government’s Operation Warp Speed initiative. He was soon faced with calls to divest his equity interest in Moderna, which is viewed by many is in top contention for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Dr. Slaoui is divesting all of his equity interest in Moderna so that there is no conflict of interest with Dr. Slaoui in his new role. We wish Dr. Slaoui well in this new role, and we know he has a lot to contribute as our nation – and the world – address the COVID-19 pandemic,” Moderna said in a media statement.
Slaoui previously served as chair of the vaccines division at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), USA Today said. He will not be remunerated for his work on Operation Warp Speed, according to the Associated Press.