Analysts predict Pfizer, BioNTech set to make billions in yearly sales with COVID-19 vaccine launch

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In a note to clients Tuesday, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges said the recent results from Pfizer’s early COVID-19 vaccine data should “boost confidence of the general public in COVID vaccines, which should drive up the early adoption rate.” The analysts see Pfizer’s vaccine snagging all of the early share of the market and generating $258 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Pfizer’s vaccine news has spurred intense hope about quashing the pandemic and lifted expectations for other vaccine programs in the works. Pfizer, specifically, some analysts are predicting, will yield billions in sales for the shot for years to come.

The analysts see the 2021 rollout really taking off and projecting the shot will reel in $4.6 billion in its first year. Though expectations decline to $2.8 billion by 2023, Porges figures the vaccine will still be pulling in $1.2 billion to $1.6 billion in annual sales from 2026 through 2029. 

Porges and his team expect the immunizations to be limited to healthcare workers and high-risk adults in the early part of the vaccination process. Given the strong data, though, they increased their projections for the overall adoption rate for 2021 and 2022 by 4% to 5% and added a small percentage of pediatric vaccinations. 

The SVB Leerink team is largely keeping its market “share assumptions and timing” expectations in place. Pfizer’s vaccine efficacy suggests that there will be “fewer vaccine failures,” the analysts wrote, which “would reduce the addressable markets for COVID treatments.” 

SVB Leerink is not the only one with that sentiment. Barclays analysts, who issued a report on Monday state that the Pfizer results “should raise further questions around the mid-to-long-term durability” of revenues from coronavirus therapeutics from companies such as Eli Lilly, Regeneron and Gilead Sciences. Gilead is already generating sizable revenues with Veklury, and Eli Lilly just garnered an FDA emergency authorization for one of its antibody therapies. 

On vaccines, though, higher usage earlier could ease the pandemic more quickly than previously expected, leading to a lower rate of revaccination down the line, Porges wrote.  

“If most COVID vaccines end up showing efficacy in the 80-90% range, they will likely compete for market share with lower unit price,” Porges wrote. The team’s overall revenue forecasts for the COVID-19 vaccine market start to decrease in 2025.

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