COVID-19 has helped turn dozens of healthcare leaders into newly-minted billionaires, according to a report.
Fifty doctors, scientists and healthcare entrepreneurs earned billionaire status this year — the majority of whom are from China, where the virus first emerged in December 2019, Forbes reported.
Of the new cohort, there were 28 “pandemic billionaires” who hailed from China, the outlet reported.
Among the richest of the Chinese billionaires is Hu Kun, who is the chairman of medical device manufacturer Contec Medical Systems, the outlet reported.
His fortune is estimated to now be $3.9 billion thanks to the company going public this year as it saw strong sales of its hospital medical products, which include nebulizers, stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors.
Scientists were also among some of the wealthiest of the group.
BioNTech co-founder Ugur Sahin of Germany became worth $4.2 billion this year after the company helped develop the first COVID-19 vaccine with Pfizer.
Stéphane Bancel, who is from France, first became a billionaire in March while serving as chief executive officer of Moderna, which recently secured emergency use approval of its COVID-19 vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration, Forbes reported.
He owns around 6 percent of the company and is worth an estimated $4.1 billion, the outlet reported.
And other coronavirus treatments and drugs have been driving factors behind others fortunes.
Carl Hansen, the CEO of Canadian biotech outfit AbCellera, is now worth $2.9 billion after his company also secured approval of an antibody treatment that it co-developed.
Premchand Godha, who is the chairman of Mumbai-based drug-maker Ipca Labs, earned his $1.4 billion fortune thanks in part to the sales of the controversial antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which was hailed early in the pandemic as a possible cure.