Pfizer announced on Tuesday that it would apply to German drug manufacturer BioNTech for full US approval of its Covid-19 vaccine at the end of this month. If the FDA signs out, the company can market the shot directly to consumers.
In its earnings report, Pfizer said its Covid-19 vaccine sales were $ 3.5 billion in the first quarter, which is roughly 24% of its sales for the quarter. Profit and sales exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.
According to Refinitiv’s average estimates, Pfizer has outperformed Wall Street expectations as follows:
- Adjusted EPS: 93 cents per share compared to 77 cents expected
- Revenue: $ 14.58 billion versus $ 13.51 billion expected
The company now expects total annual sales of the vaccine to be $ 26 billion, compared to its previous forecast of approximately $ 15 billion. Adjusted pre-tax profit in the high sales range of 20% is expected for the vaccine.
Pfizer’s shares rose 1.3% in premarket trading.
“Based on what we’ve seen, we believe continued demand for our Covid-19 vaccine, similar to that of the flu vaccines, is a likely outcome,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told investors on a call for earnings.
Pfizer’s oncology, internal medicine, hospital and rare disease sales rose double-digit for the quarter, according to earnings reports. The company’s inflammation and immunology division had sales of approximately $ 1 billion, up 9% year over year.
Pfizer saw double-digit sales growth for many of its cancer drugs, including Inlyta, Bosulif, and Lorbrena.
The company received US approval for its Covid vaccine in late December. Since then, Pfizer has distributed millions of doses in the US, with the goal of dispensing 300 million doses by the end of July.
It usually takes the Food and Drug Administration nearly a year or more to determine whether a drug is safe and effective for the general public. Due to the once in a century pandemic that killed nearly 600,000 people in the United States, the FDA allowed the gunshots to be used as part of an emergency clearance.
The permit grants conditional approval based on data for two months. It’s not the same as a biological license application that requires six months of data and ensures full approval.
The company also expects to apply for an EUA for a booster shot in the second half of July, which could protect against Covid variants. Its vaccine is expected to be approved in September for infants and younger children and in November for infants.
Vaccination safety dates for pregnant women are also expected in late July.
On April 1, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that new data from their clinical study showed their two-dose vaccine was safe and greater than 91% effective six months after the second dose. At the time, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the new data prompted companies to “file a biologics license application with the US FDA.”
When the vaccine is fully approved, Pfizer and BioNTech can begin promoting the shots directly to consumers and changing prices. It also allows the shot to stay in the market once the pandemic is over and the US is no longer considered an “emergency”.