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OSTP director nominee will divest BioNTech stock

by Andrea Widener
February 28, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 7


A picture of Eric Lander.
Credit: Biden-Harris Transition
Eric Lander

President Joe Biden’s science adviser, geneticist Eric Lander, will divest himself of BioNTech stock and will refrain from working on issues surrounding the company and its vaccine until that happens, according to a public disclosure. Lander, former head of the Broad Institute, says that he owns between $500,000 and $1 million in BioNTech stock that he acquired when the company took over Neon Therapeutics, where he was a board member. In a related letter, Lander says that he has stepped down or will step down from positions on multiple companies and nonprofits and will divest all investments related to his work for the administration. Lander was on the board of Codiak Biosciences—he owns between $5 million and $25 million in its stock—as well as the investment firms Third Rock Ventures and F-Prime Capital. He also served on several nonprofit boards, including the Innocence Project and the Biden Cancer Initiative. Lander is taking leave from his professorships at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to serving as science adviser, he awaits congressional approval to become director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.


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