Paris – COVID-19 vaccines have brought billions of dollars to the coffers of pharmaceutical companies.
Germany’s BioNTech SE, maker with partner Pfizer Inc. of a pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) shot, raised its vaccine revenue forecast for 2021 in its latest earnings report Monday.
Here are the numbers for the companies that publish financial results:
Biggest winners: Pfizer and BioNTech
U.S. firm Pfizer and BioNTech got a head start over rivals, as they were the first in the Western world to announce positive results from clinical trials of their vaccine last year.
They were also first to get authorization from U.S. and European Union regulators to sell their shot.
Pfizer has earned more than its competitors, raking in $10.8 billion (¥1.19 trillion) in the first half of this year.
The U.S. company has raised its outlook for 2021, expecting to make $33.5 billion in sales for the full year.
BioNTech reported on Tuesday revenues of €7.3 billion (¥945.5 billion) in the first half. Unlike its larger partner, the company’s only product on sale is the coronavirus vaccine.
BioNTech expects vaccine revenues to reach €15.9 billion for the full year, up from a previous estimate of €9.8 billion.
Moderna, the other mRNA champion
U.S. startup Moderna is the only other firm to have produced an authorized mRNA vaccine so far.
The technology works by providing human cells with the genetic instructions to make a surface protein of the coronavirus, which trains the immune system to recognize the real virus.
Like BioNTech, the company’s only product in the market is the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine requires two shots taken weeks apart.
Moderna reported turnover of $5.9 billion in the first six months of the year.
It expects to make $20 billion in revenues thanks to the vaccine this year.
AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson trail
British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and U.S. firm Johnson & Johnson had their vaccines approved by the EU later than their rivals.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine is one of the world’s leading vaccines and has been vital in the U.K.’s speedy vaccination drive — which enabled England’s economy to fully reopen this month.
But it has not been approved by U.S. drug regulators.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine — made by Janssen, its Belgian subsidiary — has the advantage of being administered with one shot instead of two like those of its rivals.
AstraZeneca and J&J do not use mRNA technology.
They are both more traditional viral vector vaccines, which use a genetically engineered version of a common-cold causing adenovirus as a “vector” to shuttle genetic instructions into human cells.
The two companies also vowed to sell their vaccines at cost during the pandemic, meaning they would not earn profits from them.
They are cheaper than the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots, which reflects in their revenues.
AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine generated $1.2 billion in sales in the first six months of the year.
J&J reported $264 million in sales and expects to make $2.5 billion for the full year. AstraZeneca has not provided a detailed full-year estimate.
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