Meet the 9 Billionaires Who Became Richer Thanks to COVID-19

Published June 3rd, 2020 - 11:40 GMT

COVID-19 outbreak brought a difficult economic situation for many people around the world. According to the International Labor Organization, nearly half the world's workers are at immediate risk of losing their jobs.  Nevertheless, some people made fortunes fighting COVID-19; turning this disaster into an opportunity to make more money, especially firms working in the pharmaceuticals and medical equipment industries.

Here are 9 Billionaires from 7 different countries who made a fortune from COVID-19 outbreak.

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1. Stéphane Bancel

1. Stéphane Bancel (Real time net worth: $1.8 Billion. Nationality: French): Bancel, 47, he is the CEO of a biotech firm “Moderna Therapeutics” which was the first company to begin human trials of its vaccine for COVID-19, on March 16, 2020 in Seattle, USA. He owns a roughly 9% stake in the publicly traded company.

2. Gustavo Denegri

2. Gustavo Denegri (Net worth: $5.1 Billion. Nationality: Italy): Denegri owns a 45% stake in Italian biotech firm DiaSorin, which he acquired in 2000. DiaSorin has launched both swab-based diagnostic tests and antibody blood testing kits for COVID-19 — its new antibody tests, launched in April, are now being distributed to several regional governments in Italy. DiaSorin has manufacturing plants in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Italy.

3. Seo Jung-Jin

3. Seo Jung-Jin (Real time net worth: $9.2 Billion. Nationality: South Korea ): Seo co-founded Seoul-based biopharma company Celltrion in 2002 and took it public in 2008. The firm has been hard at work on both testing kits and a potential treatment for COVID-19, with human trials of its antiviral treatment expected to begin in the third quarter of 2020. Celltrion’s self-administered rapid diagnostic test, which the firm claims can deliver results within fifteen to twenty minutes, is scheduled to be released over the summer

4. Alain Merieux

4. Alain Merieux (Real time net worth: $8.2 Billion. Nationality: France): Mérieux founded BioMérieux in 1963 as the diagnostic testing arm of Institut Mérieux, a medical conglomerate founded by Mérieux's grandfather, Marcel, in 1897; Alain’s son Alexandre now runs the company as CEO. BioMérieux’s COVID-19 diagnostic testing kit, released in late March, cut testing times for the virus down to 45 minutes.

5. Maja Oeri

5. Maja Oeri (Real time net worth: $3.2 Billion. Nationality: Switzerland): Maja Oeri owns about 5% of the Swiss pharma “titan Roche” which announced on March 19 that it was initiating phase three clinical trials of its arthritis drug as a treatment for COVID-19 patients in the U.S.; the company also developed a new serology test, which detects antibodies in people who have already had the disease.

6.  Leonard Schleifer

6. Leonard Schleifer (Real time net worth: $2.6 Billion. Nationality: USA): Leonard Schleifer is the CEO of New York based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. On March 16, Regeneron began clinical trials of its drug on COVID-19 patients in New York, in partnership with French firm Sanofi; preliminary results from phase two trials showed that the drug rapidly lowered a key marker of inflammation, phase three trials are ongoing.

7. George Yancopoulos

7. George Yancopoulos (Real time net worth: $1.4 Billion. Nationality: USA): George Yancopoulos is the Chief Scientific Officer of biotech firm Regeneron. Yancopoulos owns 2% of Regeneron stock, he led the invention of seven approved drugs and a technology platform designed to invent more.

8.  Thomas and Andreas Struengmann

8. Thomas and Andreas Struengmann (Real time net worth: $7.4 Billion. Nationality: Germany): The billionaire Struengmann twins invest in biotech and healthcare companies through their Switzerland-based investment firm, Santo Holding, but their most high-profile bet is Mainz, Germany biotech upstart BioNTech which partnered with Pfizer PFE and Fosun Pharmaceuticals on a vaccine for COVID-19 — the first human trials began in Germany on April 23, and the firm plans to expand them to the U.S. pending approval from regulators.

9. Li Xiting

9. Li Xiting (Real time net worth: $13.5 Billion. Nationality: Singapore): Co-Founder of Mindray Medical International, China’s largest producer of medical equipment. Mindray has been actively involved in fighting COVID-19 since it first emerged in China, The company has donated $4.6 million worth of medical devices — including much-needed ventilators — to hospitals around the world, especially the hard-hit areas of Wuhan and northern Italy.

1. Stéphane Bancel
2. Gustavo Denegri
3. Seo Jung-Jin
4. Alain Merieux
5. Maja Oeri
6.  Leonard Schleifer
7. George Yancopoulos
8.  Thomas and Andreas Struengmann
9. Li Xiting
1. Stéphane Bancel
1. Stéphane Bancel (Real time net worth: $1.8 Billion. Nationality: French): Bancel, 47, he is the CEO of a biotech firm “Moderna Therapeutics” which was the first company to begin human trials of its vaccine for COVID-19, on March 16, 2020 in Seattle, USA. He owns a roughly 9% stake in the publicly traded company.
2. Gustavo Denegri
2. Gustavo Denegri (Net worth: $5.1 Billion. Nationality: Italy): Denegri owns a 45% stake in Italian biotech firm DiaSorin, which he acquired in 2000. DiaSorin has launched both swab-based diagnostic tests and antibody blood testing kits for COVID-19 — its new antibody tests, launched in April, are now being distributed to several regional governments in Italy. DiaSorin has manufacturing plants in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Italy.
3. Seo Jung-Jin
3. Seo Jung-Jin (Real time net worth: $9.2 Billion. Nationality: South Korea ): Seo co-founded Seoul-based biopharma company Celltrion in 2002 and took it public in 2008. The firm has been hard at work on both testing kits and a potential treatment for COVID-19, with human trials of its antiviral treatment expected to begin in the third quarter of 2020. Celltrion’s self-administered rapid diagnostic test, which the firm claims can deliver results within fifteen to twenty minutes, is scheduled to be released over the summer
4. Alain Merieux
4. Alain Merieux (Real time net worth: $8.2 Billion. Nationality: France): Mérieux founded BioMérieux in 1963 as the diagnostic testing arm of Institut Mérieux, a medical conglomerate founded by Mérieux's grandfather, Marcel, in 1897; Alain’s son Alexandre now runs the company as CEO. BioMérieux’s COVID-19 diagnostic testing kit, released in late March, cut testing times for the virus down to 45 minutes.
5. Maja Oeri
5. Maja Oeri (Real time net worth: $3.2 Billion. Nationality: Switzerland): Maja Oeri owns about 5% of the Swiss pharma “titan Roche” which announced on March 19 that it was initiating phase three clinical trials of its arthritis drug as a treatment for COVID-19 patients in the U.S.; the company also developed a new serology test, which detects antibodies in people who have already had the disease.
6.  Leonard Schleifer
6. Leonard Schleifer (Real time net worth: $2.6 Billion. Nationality: USA): Leonard Schleifer is the CEO of New York based Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. On March 16, Regeneron began clinical trials of its drug on COVID-19 patients in New York, in partnership with French firm Sanofi; preliminary results from phase two trials showed that the drug rapidly lowered a key marker of inflammation, phase three trials are ongoing.
7. George Yancopoulos
7. George Yancopoulos (Real time net worth: $1.4 Billion. Nationality: USA): George Yancopoulos is the Chief Scientific Officer of biotech firm Regeneron. Yancopoulos owns 2% of Regeneron stock, he led the invention of seven approved drugs and a technology platform designed to invent more.
8.  Thomas and Andreas Struengmann
8. Thomas and Andreas Struengmann (Real time net worth: $7.4 Billion. Nationality: Germany): The billionaire Struengmann twins invest in biotech and healthcare companies through their Switzerland-based investment firm, Santo Holding, but their most high-profile bet is Mainz, Germany biotech upstart BioNTech which partnered with Pfizer PFE and Fosun Pharmaceuticals on a vaccine for COVID-19 — the first human trials began in Germany on April 23, and the firm plans to expand them to the U.S. pending approval from regulators.
9. Li Xiting
9. Li Xiting (Real time net worth: $13.5 Billion. Nationality: Singapore): Co-Founder of Mindray Medical International, China’s largest producer of medical equipment. Mindray has been actively involved in fighting COVID-19 since it first emerged in China, The company has donated $4.6 million worth of medical devices — including much-needed ventilators — to hospitals around the world, especially the hard-hit areas of Wuhan and northern Italy.