Attempts to quantify the size of the COVID-19 vaccine opportunity have generated a range of values, in part due to uncertainty about prices and the number of doses each person will need. Evercore ISI analyst Josh Schimmer, for example, valued the total market at $100 billion, reflecting an assumption that everyone will ultimately need to receive five doses to kill off the pandemic.
Now, analysts at Morningstar have calculated that COVID-19 vaccines could generate revenues of $40 billion next year alone. To put that figure in context, asset management firm AB Bernstein estimated earlier this year that the market for all other vaccines is worth $35 billion.
Morningstar’s models feature $10 billion in 2021 sales for BNT162b2, suggesting that they see the mRNA vaccine being taken forward by BioNTech and Pfizer as one of the big winners. Pfizer already has contracts with the US and UK governments and, unlike some COVID-19 vaccine players, expects to make a profit from its candidate.
BNT162b2, along with assets in development at AstraZeneca and Moderna, is one of three COVID-19 vaccines that the Morningstar analysts expect to win emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration by the end of the year based on interim phase 3 efficacy data. The forecast is in line with an earlier note to investors from Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal, who predicted AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer will ship 158 million COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year.
The Morningstar analysts, like Gal, see vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and Sanofi coming to market next year. Gal predicted those six companies would satisfy demand in the US, Canada, the UK, the European Union, Japan and Korea, generating sales of $20 billion in the process.
For now, the Morningstar analysts are not including ongoing sales of COVID-19 vaccines beyond the pandemic in their models. Such sales could happen, though, if the continued presence of the virus and time-limited immunity necessitate periodic vaccinations even after the pandemic has ended. The Morningstar analysts may add ongoing sales to their models as more information becomes available.
COVID-19 antibodies and antivirals potentially have an even shorter commercial window but analysts expect them to generate significant sales for a time. Morningstar is modelling $6 billion of 2021 sales for the antibody cocktail Regeneron is developing with Roche and predicting Gilead Sciences’ Veklury could generate revenues of $3 billion this year.