WASHINGTON: Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla sold US$5.6 million of his stock in the US pharmaceutical company on the same day it announced promising results for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, filings showed on Wednesday (Nov 11).
The company, however, has reportedly said the sale was part of a pre-arranged periodic divestment plan when the stock reaches a certain price.
According to a disclosure with US market regulator SEC, Bourla sold 132,508 shares at US$41.94 each on Monday.
An executive vice president at the company, Sally Susman, also sold around US$1.8 million in stock, or 43,662 shares.
Pfizer shares rose by more than 7 per cent after peaking at over 15 per cent on Monday, when the drugmaker announced that trials so far had shown its vaccine candidate being developed with German company BioNTech was 90 per cent effective.
The company had not responded to a request for a comment from AFP, but a spokesman quoted by CNN described the sales as prearranged.
Sales at that price were previously scheduled as part of their personal financial management, the company said.
Such plans are designed to shield executives from insider trading accusations.