The figures, based on contracts signed as of late-January, have been set out by the company as it releases its FY2021 results today.
Guidance for 2022 puts Pfizer’s total revenue expectations at $98 - $102bn.
While sales forecasts of Comirnaty are now $1bn more for 2022 than previously estimated, it is unlikely that forecasts will keep changing as they did in 2021 when vaccine distribution was relatively low.
In contrast, antiviral Paxlovid was not authorized until late December and so the total could be expected to rise as more orders come in.
The company says it has reached an estimated 1.4 billion patients with its medicines and vaccines in 2021: representing one in every six people on earth. “Never before has Pfizer’s patient impact been so wide-reaching”, says the company.
'We now have the tools to help countries move into an endemic phase'
The company reported 2021 revenues of $81.3bn, reflecting 92% operational growth. Excluding Comirnaty and Paxlovid, revenues grew 6% operationally to $44.4bn.
The COVID-19 revenues are broken down into $36.8bn in revenue from its COVID-19 vaccine Comirnaty and $76m in US sales for Paxlovid.
“Less than two years since we made our commitment to use all of our resources and expertise to help protect populations globally against the deadly COVID-19 virus, we are proud to have delivered both the first FDA-authorized vaccine against COVID-19 (with our partner, BioNTech) and the first FDA-authorized oral treatment for COVID-19. These successes have not only made a positive difference in the world, but I believe they have fundamentally changed Pfizer and its culture forever,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and CEO, Pfizer.
“Our scientists continue to monitor the SARS-CoV-2 virus and believe it is unlikely to be fully eradicated in the foreseeable future. They believe this for several reasons. Global distribution of the virus makes it difficult to contain. The virus is able to mutate often, making it difficult to stay ahead of it. And natural infection does not prevent all transmission and viral mutation: as a result, people can become reinfected by the same or different strains over time.
“That said, we now have the tools – in the form of vaccines and treatments – that we believe will help enable us to not only better manage the pandemic, but also help countries move into an endemic phase. In other words, we believe these tools will help allow us to go back to normality and spend time with family and friends, travel, attend indoor dining and concerts, and enjoy many other activities while lowering the risk of overburdening hospitals and healthcare systems around the world.”
Comirnaty: On track for 4 billion doses in 2022
In 2021, the company exceeded its goal of manufacturing 3 billion COVID-19 doses. For 2022, it expects to be able to manufacture 4 billion doses: regardless of whether an Omicron-specific vaccine is required or not.
In the US, Comirnaty accounts for six out of every 10 doses administered. Pitted against Moderna and J&J across the US and Europe, Pfizer accounts for around 70% of doses.
The company is working on various options to tackle Omicron (including an omicron-based vaccine and a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine); while it has initiated a rolling submission with the US FDA to include children from 6 months in the vaccine’s EUA.
Paxlovid: 120 million courses to be manufactured in 2022
Paxlovid manufacturing capacity is expected to ramp up from 30 million treatment courses in the first half of 2022 to 90 million in the second half of 2022.
It currently has received emergency or conditional authorization for use with certain populations in around 40 countries to date. “We are in discussions with governments around the world and expect that as the number of authorizations increase, so will the number of contracts for this treatment, which could truly be a game changer.”
The company is now working on a ‘potential next-generation oral COVID-19 treatment’.
Other 2021 highlights: Eliquis and biosimilars
Outside of Comirnaty and Paxlovid, highlights of 2021 for the company included strong growth of Eliquis worldwide; the growth of the oncology biosimilars business thanks to the launches of Ruxience, Zirabev and Trazimera; and Pfizer CentreOne, led by the manufacturing of legacy Upjohn products for Viatris and Comirnaty for BioNTech.
The company, however, saw lower revenues for pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar/Prevnar 13: party attributed to the timing of US government purchases and disruption to healthcare during the pandemic, particularly the prioritization of primary and booster vaccinations for COVID-19.
Cancer treatment Sutent was down 32% operationally, primarily reflecting lower volume demand in the US resulting from its loss of exclusivity in August 2021