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COVID-19 vaccine: Pfizer-BioNTech eye $26 bn revenue, Moderna estimates $19.2 bn sales in 2021

The two m-RNA technology based COVID-19 vaccines are set to shatter the record of Pfizer's Lipitor in terms of highest sales in a year.

twitter-logoPB Jayakumar | May 9, 2021 | Updated 00:45 IST
COVID-19 vaccine: Pfizer-BioNTech eye $26 bn revenue, Moderna estimates $19.2 bn sales in 2021
Pfizer now anticipates revenues of approximately $26 billion as against the earlier estimate of $15 billion from its COVID-19 vaccine.

Drug maker Pfizer has projected a revenue of $26 billion in 2021 through sales of COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2, it developed with BioNTech, while Moderna sees the sales from its coronavirus vaccine at $19.2 billion during the year.

The two m-RNA technology based COVID-19 vaccines are set to shatter the record of Pfizer's Lipitor in terms of highest sales in a year. The cholesterol lowering drug, now without patent protection, had revenue of approximately $13 billion in 2006.  

The company projections come at a time when the US government has decided to support efforts initiated by countries like India and South Africa to make COVID-19 vaccines available for low and middle-income countries with patent waivers and technology transfer.

Pfizer, which a few days ago raised its revenue guidance for full-year 2021 to a range of $70.5-$72.5 billion, now anticipates revenues of approximately $26 billion as against the earlier estimate of $15 billion from BNT162b2, reflecting 1.6 billion doses expected to be delivered in 2021 under signed contracts as of mid-April 2021. The vaccine contributed $3.5 billion to revenue in the first quarter of this year.  

"We have achieved important clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones across our pipeline and portfolio while also continuing to increase our capacity to supply urgently-needed doses of BNT162b2 to the world," the company's chairman and chief executive officer Dr Albert Bourla said while announcing the first quarter results.

Also read: COVID-19: Ray of hope for India--it's getting better in the US!

Pfizer has already committed a total of 600 million doses to the European Union and 300 million doses to the US. As of May 3, it has shipped approximately 430 million doses of BNT162b2 to 91 countries and territories around the world. Further, Pfizer and BioNTech entered into an agreement with Israel to supply millions of doses in 2022, with an option to purchase millions of additional doses. The companies have also entered into an agreement with Canada to supply up to 125 million doses in 2022 and 2023, with options to purchase up to 60 million additional doses in 2024. Pfizer is currently negotiating similar potential contracts with multiple other countries.

Meanwhile, Moderna said it has increased its 2021 supply forecast to between 800 million and 1 billion doses and is making investments to increase global supply for COVID-19 vaccine to up to 3 billion doses in 2022.

Its net income was at $1.2 billion for the three months ended March 31, 2021, as compared to a net loss of $124 million for the same period in 2020. The company has already signed Advance Purchase Agreements (APAs) for scheduled delivery in 2021, with a total of $19.2 billion in anticipated product sales, including sales already recorded in the three months ended March 31, 2021.

"This is our first profitable quarter in the company's history, after 10 years of scientific innovation and several billion dollars invested to make our mRNA platform a reality," Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said.

The company has already delivered 100 million doses and is trying to make a billion doses this year. "New partnerships, like COVAX, for up to 466 million doses in 2022 and discussions with new governments in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, make us believe that our total advance purchase agreements for 2022 should be higher than those in 2021," Moderna said.

Also read: COVID-19: NHAI exempts oxygen tankers from toll on national highways

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