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September 2020 (Vol. 5 Issue 6)

Covid-19 "a huge commercial opportunity", says Pfizer
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Covid-19 "a huge commercial opportunity", says Pfizer image

Drug giant Pfizer could earn up to £15bn from its Covid-19 vaccine. It's set a price of $19.50 per shot, and this is expected to be the industry standard for all pharmaceutical companies to follow.

The US government has placed a $1.95bn order for 100 million doses of the vaccine—but it's all contingent on the vaccine working. If it does, Pfizer is set for "a windfall" of $15bn, drug industry watchers predict.

But revenues could be double that if Pfizer progresses with its plans for a two-shot Covid vaccine, which its researchers are currently working on. The two-dose shot will cost $39.

US agencies are set to place an order for 500 million doses if the vaccine can be proven to work, and regulators will be setting the bar low to get a vaccine on the market as quickly as possible. The usual safety tests will be by-passed as those may take years of monitoring.

It's all great news for Pfizer shareholders, says industry analyst Randall Stanicky of RBC Capital Markets. The company's CEO, Albert Bourla, agrees. In a recent online conference, he said the virus presented "a huge commercial opportunity".

Pfizer isn't the only one in the race, hoping for massive revenue boosts, of course. Unusually, it hasn't sought government funding to help support its research for a vaccine, but those that have will be charging far less. AstraZeneca, for instance, is expected to charge around $4 per dose in recognition of government aid, and this is reckoned to be an 'at-cost' price with almost no profit added in.

Pfizer has set the price of a Covid shot, and especially for manufacturers who have funded their own research. Another vaccine front-runner, Moderna, was predicted to set its per-shot price at $50, but is now expected to fall in line with the Pfizer price.

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References

(Source: Fiercepharma.com, July 27, 2020)

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