said he expects his Covid-19 vaccine to generate around $ 26 billion in sales this year, a significant increase from several months ago that reflects the vaccine’s growing role in the global campaign to vaccination.
The company also said on Tuesday it was working to make the two-dose vaccine easier to administer and store for vaccinators. He has started studying an updated version of the vaccine for the dangerous Covid-19 variant first identified in South Africa.
The Pfizer vaccine is the most administered of the three Covid-19 vaccines authorized in the United States and is increasingly available around the world. Pfizer raised its vaccine sales forecast by $ 15 billion earlier this year as more countries sign supply agreements.
“I couldn’t be prouder of how Pfizer started 2021,” Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla said on a conference call with analysts.
Two-dose injection, developed by Pfizer with BioNTech SE,
contributed $ 3.5 billion to the company’s overall sales of $ 14.6 billion in the first three months of the year, Pfizer said. Devoid of one-time items, Pfizer’s adjusted earnings for the quarter were 93 cents per share.
Analysts polled by FactSet were forecasting adjusted earnings of 78 cents per share on sales of $ 13.62 billion.
Analysts said quarterly sales of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines exceeded expectations, a trend they say will continue for the rest of the year. Still, analysts have warned that it’s not clear how long Pfizer, which splits Covid-19 vaccine sales with BioNTech, could support revenue at such a high level.
Pfizer says it expects global demand for Covid-19 vaccines to hold steady for at least several years, and a growing number of health experts say annual booster shots may be needed to maintain the protection.
Pfizer and BioNTech have shipped more than 430 million doses to more than 90 countries. Countries are already lining up for more Pfizer supplies beyond 2021, Pfizer said. Pfizer said it has entered into supply agreements with Israel to deliver millions of doses next year and with Canada to deliver up to 125 million doses in 2022 and 2023.
Covid-19 vaccines are in high demand around the world as the pandemic accelerates in countries like India and Brazil. They are reporting a record number of deaths amid an outbreak of coronavirus infections that has overwhelmed their health systems. While countries like the United States and Israel are on the verge of vaccinating a large majority of their populations, the poorest countries are struggling to launch their deployments.
Vaccine sales in 2021 could still exceed the projected $ 26 billion, reflecting the 1.6 billion doses the company is under contract to deliver. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech say they can manufacture up to 2.5 billion doses this year and at least three billion next year.
Pfizer said it would ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to fully approve the Covid-19 vaccine for use in people 16 and older this month, which would allow the company to market the vaccine directly. to the public. The FDA cleared the shooting in December as an emergency because of the urgency of the pandemic and because the company needed to collect at least six months of data on subjects from its pivotal study of 44,000 people.
Pfizer said it was recruiting subjects for a study testing a modified version of its vaccine that targets the most dangerous strain first identified in South Africa. Pfizer and BioNTech said lab tests show the vaccine generates a weaker immune system against the variant while providing protection. The first results are expected in July.
Meanwhile, Pfizer said it is awaiting the first results of a study evaluating a third dose of the vaccine in July and that it will seek emergency clearance later this month.
Pfizer and BioNTech are awaiting decisions from US and European regulators, who plan to authorize the vaccine for children as young as 12.
Pfizer says it is working on ways to make the vaccine more accessible and easier to handle by vaccine administrators. Pfizer last week submitted data to U.S. regulators and requested that the vaccine be stored at refrigerated temperature for up to a month.
Pfizer says it plans to ask the United States to approve a vaccine format in August that would not require vaccinators to mix the vaccine with a diluent, which will make the vaccine more convenient to administer. This would allow the vaccine to be stored at standard freezing temperatures for up to 10 weeks or minus 50 to minus 70 for six months, Pfizer said.
Vaccine temperature requirements have been a hindrance for small rural vaccination sites in the United States and abroad. The injections are transported at ultra cold temperatures to ensure that they remain effective, although they can be stored at standard freezing temperatures for up to two weeks.
Quarterly sales also increased in Pfizer’s oncology, internal medicine and hospital product divisions, as well as sales of other drugs in its portfolio. Sales of the anticoagulant Eliquis increased by a quarter from last year to $ 1.6 billion, while sales of the heart drug Vyndaqel nearly doubled to $ 453 million.
The pandemic has slowed sales of some other Pfizer products. Sales of the Prevnar 13 pneumococcal vaccine fell 20%, in part because people made fewer wellness visits to their doctors. Sales of the breast cancer drug Ibrance remained stable as economic hardships prompted more patients to purchase the breast cancer drug through Pfizer’s patient assistance program.
Over the past year, Pfizer has reduced its secondary activities to focus on the development of new drugs. In November, the company struck a deal to split up its Upjohn segment, which focused on generic and non-patented drugs.
Rising vaccine sales boosted Pfizer’s outlook for the full year. The company now expects total revenue of $ 70.5 billion to $ 72.5 billion in 2021, with adjusted earnings of $ 3.55 to $ 3.65 per share. Pfizer’s previous earnings forecast had guided sales of $ 59.4 billion to $ 61.4 billion, with adjusted earnings of $ 3.10 to $ 3.20 per share.
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