European Union's Amended COVID-19 Vaccine Deal with Pfizer-BioNTech: Near-Monopoly Status Potential Threat to Rivals

The European Union bloc is reportedly negotiating an amended deal with Pfizer Inc PFE and BioNTech SE BNTX for around 70 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, despite the European public prosecutor opening a criminal investigation into their original agreement. 

The updated proposal includes a new provision for member states to pay half price, about €10, for each canceled dose.

The revised contract would allow the EU to upgrade to newer vaccines tailored to any future COVID-19 variants, the Financial Times reported citing people close to the matter.

Also Read: FDA Gives Green Signal To Second Omicron-Adapted Booster Shots For People At High Risk From Covid.

The report added that Poland and some other central European countries refuse to sign the amended deal because they do not want to pay for canceled doses. 

But if the conditions can be persuaded, a revised deal would highlight the near-monopoly status enjoyed by BioNTech/Pfizer across the bloc. 

“If [BioNTech/Pfizer] supply around 70mn doses per year for the next few years, that’s pretty much the totality of the market,” said one person familiar with the negotiations.

A proposed deal for 70 million doses until 2026 threatens to push rivals Moderna Inc MRNANovavax Inc NVAX, and Sanofi SA SNY out of the market.

Sanofi and Novavax previously committed to orders with the EU that were much smaller than the numbers announced, people familiar with the matter said. 

About 90% of doses delivered have since been unused, with a large proportion being destroyed or will be because either they passed their expiration dates or there was no demand for them.

Price Action: PFE shares are up 0.18% at $38.96 during the premarket session on the last check Monday. BNTX shares are down 2.21% at $111.72.

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