Vaccine makers face falling revenue as demand plummets for Covid-19 shots


Makers of some of the most lucrative pharmaceuticals ever produced are heading for a slump in revenue as shipments of Covid-19 vaccines nearly halve next year, according to new forecasts.

Airfinity, a health data analytics group, said Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna have started raising vaccine prices, but that won’t fully offset the drop in demand for Covid inoculations in 2023. It expects a drop in Covid-19 vaccine sales of about a fifth to $47 billion next year.

The average price per dose next year will increase to $37, double the amount charged for Covid jabs in 2021. But prices could be much higher in the United States, which is shifting from government purchases to a private market and where Moderna said it could charge up to $100 per shot.

Airfinity expects 1.6 billion doses of the Covid vaccine to be delivered next year, up from 3 billion in 2022 and 5.7 billion in 2021.

Vaccine makers are expected to tell investors about Covid sales in third-quarter earnings next month, but analysts have started cutting revenue forecasts, citing weaker-than-expected jab sales.

Last month, analysts at Oddo Bhf, a Frankfurt-based financial group, cut BioNTech’s revenue forecast for 2022 and 2023 by 28% and 33% to 14.1 billion euros and 10.6 billion euros. euros respectively.

Jefferies told investors last week he expected Moderna’s third-quarter vaccine sales to be $2.5 billion to $3 billion, below Wall Street’s consensus estimate of $4.4 billion. of dollars.

SVB Securities said it expects Pfizer to generate $96.2 billion in revenue in 2022, up from a previous forecast of $99.5 billion. It projects revenue of $78.4 billion for 2023, up from $82.1 billion.

Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna are investing resources in drug development in other areas beyond Covid in search of growth opportunities.

Pfizer is aiming to launch several potential blockbuster drugs capable of grossing more than $1 billion a year next year, including a vaccine targeting respiratory syncytial virus and a treatment for alopecia. It has also acquired several biotech companies with late-stage drug candidates, including Biohaven Pharmaceuticals and Arena Pharmaceuticals.

“From a public health perspective, I think we are doing important things and I think that will translate into revenue and return for Pfizer,” William Gruber, senior vice president of research, told the Financial Times. and clinical development of Pfizer vaccines. .

Moderna has a pipeline of more than 40 drug candidates but has no product beyond its Covid vaccine currently on the market. BioNTech is in a similar situation and is racing to develop cancer drugs using messenger RNA technology.

But that hasn’t stopped an investor selloff in the shares of the three mRNA vaccine makers, with Moderna down 43%, BioNTech down 41.5% and Pfizer down 24.3% since the start. of the year.

New entrants Novavax and Sanofi/GSK, the latter of which is aiming to get their Covid jab approved this year, will struggle to gain market share as Covid becomes rampant and public apathy to get vaccinated increases.

mRNA vaccines made by BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna are expected to grow their market share based on revenue to 94% in 2023 from 87% this year.

Matt Linley, director of Airfinity Analytics, said mRNA jabs could charge more than rivals because they performed so well and showed they could adapt quickly to develop jabs to target new variants. .

Shares of Novavax, which halved its 2022 revenue forecast to between $2 billion and $2.3 billion in August, are down 86.2% this year.


Comments are closed.