Pfizer raises 2022 COVID vaccine forecast, seeks to pivot with deals and new drugs

Pfizer raises 2022 COVID vaccine forecast, seeks to pivot with deals and new drugs
Pfizer raises 2022 COVID vaccine forecast, seeks to pivot with deals and new drugs

Nov 1 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) on Tuesday raised its 2022 sales forecast for its COVID-19 vaccine from $2 billion to $34 billion, and said new deals and drugs in development should help replace future declines in vaccine sales and lost revenue due to expiring patents.

Shares of the US drugmaker rose 2.7% to $47.84 as its third-quarter profit beat estimates, mainly due to higher-than-expected sales of the vaccine it shares with German partner BioNTech (22UAy.DE).

Upbeat earnings also lifted shares of rival COVID-19 vaccine makers. Novavax Inc (NVAX.O) and Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) rose around 2% each.

Sales of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine are down from pandemic highs as many countries near the end of their primary vaccination campaigns. There are also concerns about low demand for the recently updated booster shots.

In response, Pfizer hopes to roughly quadruple the price of the vaccine in the United States once the government stops buying doses and sales shift to the private market.

CEO Albert Bourla said in an interview that the company is trying to show what a “post-COVID crisis” of Pfizer will look like.

COVID-19 treatments and vaccines will be multi-billion dollar franchises, he said, “but it will be steady, not ups and downs. And growth will be driven by pipeline and business development.”

A 3D-printed Pfizer logo is placed near drugs from the same manufacturer in this illustration taken September 29, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Pfizer is expected to face the loss of patent protection for certain key drugs between 2025 and 2030. The company has looked to deals such as its recent $5.4 billion acquisition of Global Blood Therapeutics Inc and its purchase of $11.6 billion from Biohaven to bolster its pipeline of future products.

Bourla said the company’s internal pipeline should help replace lost growth from COVID sales and patent expirations, pointing to 19 products the company hopes to launch over the next 18 months that he says could generate some $20 billion in annual revenue. These include treatments for ulcerative colitis and migraines, as well as its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine.

The company said its experimental RSV vaccine has been shown to be effective in a late-stage study in preventing serious infections in infants when given to pregnant women.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Evan Seigerman said some investors would say the massive pace of the COVID vaccine isn’t sustainable, however, “we’re not throwing in the towel yet given an emerging pipeline and significant flexibility of the balance sheet”.

Sales of the COVID vaccine in the third quarter were $4.40 billion, beating earlier estimates of $2.60 billion.

However, sales of $7.51 billion of Paxlovid, the company’s COVID-19 antiviral treatment, are below estimates of $7.66 billion.

Pfizer reported third-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.78 per share, beating analysts’ estimates by 39 cents.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta, Sriraj Kalluvila and Bill Berkrot

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

. Pfizer increases its forecast vaccines COVID for seeks pivot with of the agreements new drugs

. Pfizer raises COVID vaccine forecast seeks pivot deals drugs

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