The CEO of Emergent, the company that ruined 15 million J&J vaccine doses, sold more than $10 million in stock before prices fell

The CEO of Emergent BioSolutions, the company that ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, sold more than $10 million worth of his stock in the company before the price fell, The Washington Post reported. 

Robert Kramer sold the stocks in January and early February, right before the price fell on February 19 after the company’s published financial report. The price has since dropped from $125 a share to $62, a more than 50% drop, the Post reported. 

The stocks Kramer sold would now be worth $5.5 million and were his first substantive sales of the company’s stock since 2016. 

He made his current sale because of the compensation package the company gave him. He was able to buy the stocks for about $2.5 million and then sell them for market price. The sale was a part of a November 13 trading plan, the Post reported. 

Those plans are made in advance on when stocks are bought and sold and help protect members of the company from being accused of insider trading. 

On March 31, it was reported that Emergent, which also produced coronavirus vaccines for AstraZeneca, had ruined 15 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines due to human error when employees mixed up ingredients for the two different vaccines. 

After the news of the ruined doses, shares in the company tumbled by as much as 14.5%. 

Democrats in the House of Representatives also recently launched an investigation into whether or not the company was granted a federal contract to make the shots because of a connection to a top former Trump administration official, CNBC reported. 

Emergent did not reply to Insider’s request for comment at the time of publication but spokeswoman 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. Any insinuation of wrongdoing is without evidence or merit.”

The company faced issues since April 2020, when a Food and Drug Administration inspector found violations, including failures to follow testing procedures at the Baltimore facility, the Post reported. 

A New York Times report from earlier this month revealed that a batch of AstraZeneca’s vaccine was discarded in October 2020 because of suspected contamination. The next month a batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccine was also discarded because of employee error. 

The Post also reported that the company was sued for $19 million in July 2020 by a company that asked them to produce an experimental ricin vaccine. That company had already given doses of the vaccine produced by Emergent to participants in a study of the drug before it was revealed that Emergent used ingredients that were outside of specifications. 

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