China adds a new vaccine billionaire

China has one of the largest pharmaceutical industries in the world, and a new billionaire emerged from the country’s pharmaceutical industry on Friday (June 25).

According to Forbes, shares of Changchun Bac Biotech, a vaccine maker listed on the science and technology board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, rose 226 percent from its IPO price to close at 118.5 yuan on Friday. That raised the price of the 25 percent stake owned by the company’s managing director, Kong Weiwei, to 12 billion yuan (nearly $1.9 billion).

Baike was founded in 2004 and is a 41% subsidiary of Changchun High-Tech Industry (Group) Holding Company. Baike’s vaccine products include varicella vaccine, rabies vaccine and freeze-dried nasal spray flu vaccine. This company has been working with Xiamen University to develop the nasal spray Covid-19 vaccine.

According to Jilin University’s website, Kong Wei was the director of the Institute of Life Sciences at Jilin University and has chaired the National Engineering Laboratory for Molecular Enzyme Engineering and AIDS Vaccines. Kong did research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and School of Public Health in the United States.

China has the second highest number of billionaires in the world, after the United States.