Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine: 2 billion doses and $15bn sales expected in 2021

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags: Pfizer, BioNTech, COVID-19 vaccine

Pfizer and BioNTech now plan to manufacture two billion doses of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccine in 2021: up from the previous goal of 1.3 billion doses. Pfizer is forecasting $15bn in sales from the vaccine this year.

Pfizer puts figure on 2021 sales

Announcing its 2020 full year results this morning, Pfizer is predicting $15bn in revenue from the vaccine in 2021. This would account for around a quarter of its total sales.

This figure is based on doses that are expected to be delivered in 2021 under existing contracts, and so could be raised if additional contracts are agreed.

Split down, Pfizer expects to see adjusted income before tax margin for the vaccine reaching near 30% of revenues - such as after costs to manufacture, market and distribute the vaccine; as well as the 50% gross margin split with BioNTech and shared R&D expenses and costs.

The vaccine contributed $154m in sales in the fourth quarter of 2020.

First authorized in the UK on December 2, the vaccine BNT162b2 has now been granted authorization in more than 50 countries worldwide. In the US, the vaccine is authorized under an Emergency use Authorization (EUA), and could gain full Biologics License Application approval this year.

EU deliveries back on schedule

While delays in supplies to the European Union hit headlines earlier this month, the companies say the modifications to the production process at Pfizer’s Puurs, Belgium facility have been successfully completed and that the original schedule of deliveries to the EU is now being followed. Pfizer/BioNTech will deliver a total of 300 million doses to the EU.

Meanwhile, BioNTech’s manufacturing site in Marburg has received a manufacturing license and will be able to start production for validation by EMA in February as scheduled. The site was acquired from Novartis in September: and is set to become one of the largest mRNA manufacturing plants​ in Europe, supplying both Europe and beyond.

Once fully operational, the Marburg facility will have annual production capacity of up to 750 million doses - the equivalent of 60 million doses a month. It is set to begin production with up to 250 million doses in the first half of 2021.

The companies say their European manufacturing network is still expanding. In December 2020 it had three partners; which has already risen to 13 this month, with ongoing discussions with further potential partners.

In the US, Pfizer/BioNTech are set to deliver 200 million doses (an extra 100 million doses were agreed in December for $1.95bn on top of the previous 100 million doses on order). These doses will be manufactured in the US, and delivered by the end of May.

This month, Pfizer/BioNTech announced an advance purchase agreement with COVAX for up to 40 million doses, to be delivered throughout 2021, and which will be provided at a not-for-profit price.

Related topics: Bio Developments

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