BioNTech Touts Its Oncology Shift After Reporting Disappointing Fourth Quarter Financials

BioNTech SE BNTX is way past its glorious Covid-19 days, when it thrived with Pfizer Inc PFE for saving the world from the pandemic with their jointly developed vaccine. On Wednesday, BioNTech reported a revenue and earnings drop as it continues its shift towards cancer drug development, much like its peer Pfizer who also turned to oncology in response to falling sales. In January, Pfizer revealed that sales of the COVID shot plummeted 54% to $5.36 billion. Upon its latest report that was a far cry from estimates, BioNTech’s shares tanked 9%.

Fourth Quarter Highlights

For the quarter ended on December 31st, BioNTech reported fourth quarter revenues of 1.5 billion euros which equates to about $1.6 billion. As for the full year, BioNTech reported 2023 revenue amounted to 3.819 billion euros which equates to about $4.14 billion.

However, BioNTech still pulled out a net profit both for the fourth quarter and all of 2023. For the full year, net income plummeted 90% YoY but BioNTech still earned 930.3 million euros, which is about $1 billion. As for the fourth quarter, it also reported a net profit of 458 million euros which equates to about $497 million.

2024 Guidance

Depending among other things on regulatory developments and COVID-19 vaccine uptake, BioNTech guided for revenue in the range between 2.5 billion and 3.1 billion euros, after previously guiding for 3 billion euros. BioNTech doesn’t expect to be profitable this year due to investing in its long-term profit strategy. 

Back in January, BioNTech stated it expects to return to revenue growth in 2025 when the ongoing decline in its COVID-19 vaccine business would bottom out, freeing its funds for investments for scaling up the oncology business.

The costly shift to oncology is expected to start bearing fruit in 2026.

Despite plummeting Covid-19 vaccine sales, BioNTech touted its progress on the cancer drug front. BioNTech currently has seven programs in phase 2 and phase 3 trials. By the end of the year, BioNTech is planning to have ten or more potentially registrational oncology trials in motion.

While targeting multiple tumors, BionTech is aiming for its first oncology launch in 2026, along with ten indication approvals by the end of the decade. It also made strategic agreements with Biotheus, DualityBio, Medilink and OncoC4 to complement its clinical oncology pipeline with combinatorial and synergistic therapeutic approaches

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