Professor Sarah Gilbert, the Oxford scientist behind Astrazeneca’s coronavirus jab, is set to land a payday of as much as $20m (£15m) as her vaccine start-up prepares for its stock market debut.
Gilbert is understood to be sitting on millions of dollars worth of shares in biotech firm Vaccitech, which is expected to list in an initial public offering (IPO) in New York later this year.
Gilbert established Vaccitech in 2016 together with fellow university professor Andrew Hill. The firm has played a crucial role in the development of the Astrazeneca vaccine, which the Anglo-Swedish company has pledged to sell on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic.
However, Vaccitech is entitled to royalty and milestone payments from the jab, which could hike in value if booster Covid jabs are required in the long-term.
Gilbert and Hill each own more than five per cent of the company, according to the latest filings with Companies House. The company raised $168m earlier this year in a round which reportedly valued it at $450m.
Oxford University and Google Ventures — the search engine’s investment arm — also hold significant shares in Vaccitech.