Pfizer on Wednesday raised its 2021 sales forecast for its COVID-19 vaccine it developed with German partner BioNTech by 29% to USD$33.5 billion, as nations stock up on doses for the rest of the year.
The company’s updated forecast is based on signed deals for 2.1 billion doses, and is expected to be raised again if the company is able to meet its production target of 3 billion doses this year.
“Worldwide demand for vaccines against the virus is expected to continue and the generally positive attitude towards Pfizer’s vaccine … puts the company in a strong position to benefit going forward,” analyst Samuel Indyk said.
The generally positive attitude towards Pfizer’s vaccine … puts the company in a strong position to benefit going forward
Pfizer also said it believes people will need a third dose of its vaccine to ensure protection against the virus remains high. “We are quite convinced that a booster will be needed,” CEO Albert Bourla said in an interview.
The company on Wednesday released data showing that a third dose of its vaccine, given six months after the second dose, generated virus-neutralizing antibodies against the Delta variant more than five times higher in younger people and more than eleven times higher in older people than from two doses.
“All in all, I think a third dose would strongly improve protection against infection, mild moderate disease, and reduce the spread of the virus,” Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten said on an earnings call.
New studies show that a third dose has neutralizing effects against the Delta variant more than five times higher in young people and more than eleven times in older people.
U.S. health regulators have not yet authorised the use of booster shots for the broad population, however Pfizer and partner BioNTech plan to seek regulatory approval for a booster dose as early as this month.
Pfizer and BioNTech also plan to test a version of the vaccine specifically designed to target the highly transmissible Delta variant, which has become the dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S., the U.K. and many other countries.
The two companies will begin clinical trials this month, subject to regulatory approvals, with the results expected to arrive in the fourth quarter, according to Fortune.
The Companies anticipate the clinical studies [for the Delta variant vaccine] to begin in August, subject to regulatory approvals.
Pfizer raised its estimates for annual turnover and profits. It now anticipates a turnover of between USD$78 billion and USD$80 billion for 2021, up from its May forecast of USD$70.5 billion to USD$72.5 billion.
The company also anticipates full-year earnings in the range of USD$3.95 to USD$4.05 per share, up from USD$3.55 to USD$3.65 per share.
The pharmaceutical giant has delivered more than 1 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine globally since December.
Expenses and profit from the vaccine are split 50:50 between Pfizer and BioNTech.