Pfizer and BioNTech could make $13bn from coronavirus vaccine

Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca pledged to make their vaccines available on a not-for-profit basis

The US drugmaker Pfizer and the German biotech firm BioNTech stand to bring in nearly $13bn (£9.8bn) in global sales from their coronavirus vaccine next year, which will be evenly split between the two companies, according to analysts at the US investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Pfizer’s half would be more than the US pharmaceutical group’s bestselling product, a pneumonia vaccine that generated $5.8bn last year.

Pfizer has agreed to supply 100m doses to the US at a price of $39 for a two-shot course, or $19.50 per dose, with the option to supply another 500m doses under new terms. The EU has ordered 200m doses while the UK has ordered 40m.

While other vaccine makers have pledged not to profit from their jabs during the pandemic, Pfizer has taken a different stance. Treating it as a commercial opportunity, the company turned down research funding from the US government under its vaccine programme Operation Warp Speed, and used almost $2bn of its own money instead to develop the Covid-19 vaccine with Germany’s BioNTech.

However, the Mainz-based BioNTech received €375m (£335m) from the German government and a €100m loan from the European Investment Bank. BioNTech is tiny compared to Pfizer, with revenues of €109m last year compared with Pfizer’s $52bn.

The global poverty charity Oxfam said the vaccine would be “zero per cent effective to the people who can’t access or afford it”, and urged the companies to share their vaccine with other developers.

The rival US drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, along with AstraZeneca, which is developing a coronavirus vaccine in partnership with Oxford University, have both pledged to make their vaccines available on a not-for-profit basis during this pandemic. AstraZeneca, which is charging governments $3 to $5 a dose, also said last week that low-income countries would receive its vaccine on a cost basis “in perpetuity”.

The loss-making US biotech firm Moderna, which has received nearly $1bn in research funding from the US government, has priced its vaccine at $32 to $37 a shot.


Julia Kollewe

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
6 key questions about the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine
There are grounds for optimism but also several unknowns around this coronavirus vaccine

Natalie Grover Science correspondent

10, Nov, 2020 @3:58 PM

Article image
From Pfizer to Moderna: who's making billions from Covid-19 vaccines?
The companies in line for the biggest windfalls – and the shareholders who have already made fortunes

Julia Kollewe

06, Mar, 2021 @11:55 AM

Article image
Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine poses global logistics challenge
Europe and US create vast facilities for Covid-19 vaccine but poorer nations lack infrastructure, say experts

Julia Kollewe

10, Nov, 2020 @6:45 PM

Article image
Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine announcement is cause for cautious celebration
Interim trial results are encouraging as scientists welcome news

Sarah Boseley

09, Nov, 2020 @5:56 PM

Article image
BioNTech chief rejects Trump claim it delayed Covid vaccine news
Exclusive: Ugur Şahin says he and Pfizer CEO received results night before announcement

Philip Oltermann in Berlin

12, Nov, 2020 @6:50 PM

Article image
Scientist behind BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine says it can end pandemic
Exclusive: BioNTech’s CEO Uğur Şahin says he is confident vaccine can ‘bash the virus over the head’

Philip Oltermann in Berlin

12, Nov, 2020 @5:15 PM

Article image
Pfizer forecasts $26bn from annual sales of Covid-19 vaccine
Vaccine will generate 73% more than forecast based on contracts signed until mid-April

Julia Kollewe

04, May, 2021 @1:12 PM

Article image
Pfizer vaccine has 91% efficacy for up to six months, trial shows
Findings based on two doses three weeks apart are first to show shot remains effective for many months

Ian Sample Science editor

01, Apr, 2021 @4:27 PM

Article image
Pfizer Covid vaccine: what has the trial found and is this a breakthrough?
Early results from phase 3 trial look promising but there are still many questions to be answered

Nicola Davis Science correspondent

10, Nov, 2020 @8:23 AM

Article image
How does the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine work and who will get it?
Covid vaccine with an efficacy of almost 95% has been authorised by the UK medicines regulator

Nicola Davis Science correspondent

02, Dec, 2020 @7:16 AM