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Pfizer Plans To Develop New mRNA-Based Vaccines By Itself, Says CEO: WSJ

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Pfizer Inc’s (NYSE: PFE) chief executive Albert Bourla said that the company now aims to expand its vaccine business by developing new shots using the mRNA technology to target other viruses and pathogens beyond the coronavirus, reports the Wall Street Journal.

  • The mRNA technology was used in working on the COVID-19 vaccine with its German partner BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX).
  • Mr. Bourla declined to say which viruses Pfizer is pursuing and to comment on future vaccine sales.
  • Pfizer’s vaccine business already includes pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13, which had almost $6 billion in sales last year. A next-generation pneumonia shot is under review by regulators, with a decision expected this summer.
  • According to the latest fourth-quarter earnings, revenue from the BNT162b2 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 will total around $15 billion in 2021.
  • More vaccines could reduce Pfizer’s dependence for growth on its cancer drugs, which now make up about 25% of sales and 33% of its overall product pipeline.
  • An expanded vaccine business unit could also help Pfizer compete with GlaxoSmithKline Plc (NYSE: GSK) and Sanofi SA (NASDAQ: SNY). 
  • When the flu-shot partnership with BioNTech ends in July, Pfizer will take over R&D and manufacturing and continue to have rights to commercialize the vaccine.
  • Until the contract ends, Pfizer also has the right of first negotiation for BioNTech’s platform for vaccines against cytomegalovirus and respiratory syncytial virus.
  • Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. forecast more than $10 billion in sales for the Pfizer-BioNTech shot next year and $2.4 billion in 2025.
  • Price Action: PFE shares are trading 1.3% lower at $35.54 in market hours on the last check Tuesday.
 

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Posted-In: COVID-19 Vaccine mRNABiotech News Health Care FDA General

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