By  Rachana Pradhan

Pharma execs hired to advise U.S. military-run race for COVID vaccine were allowed to keep lucrative investments in companies set to benefit from government’s pandemic response.

April 16 was a big day for Moderna, a Massachusetts biotech company on the verge of becoming a frontrunner in the U.S. government’s race for a coronavirus vaccine. It had received roughly half a billion dollars in federal funding to develop a COVID shot that might be used on millions of Americans.

Thirteen days after the massive infusion of federal cash — which triggered a jump in the company’s stock price — Moncef Slaoui, a Moderna board member and longtime drug industry executive, was awarded options to buy 18,270 shares in the company, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. The award added to 137,168 options he’d accumulated since 2018, the filings show.

It wouldn’t be long before…