Vaccine business is worth billions: BioNTech triples its profits

Status: 09.05.2022 15:23

BioNTech continues to benefit from strong demand for its Corona vaccine. In the first three months of the year alone, the Mainz manufacturer made a profit of 3.7 billion euros. It is still unclear when the Omicron vaccine will arrive.

The Corona Comirnaty vaccine brings the Mainz-based manufacturer BioNTech new and growing profits. In the first quarter of this year alone, the company generated over 3.7 billion euros. This is more than three times more than a year ago. At that time, the surplus was 1.1 billion euros.

The increase in sales was just as strong. Turnover more than tripled, from 2 billion euros to 6.4 billion euros. Financial director Jens Holstein justified the jump in sales and profits by “the Omicron effect”. “Following an increase in order volume received in late 2021 due to the emerging Omikron variant, we entered 2022 with strong sales and results,” said Holstein.

Decline in sales expected for 2022

For the full year, however, BioNTech executives expect sales to decline as demand for vaccines is expected to slow as corona restrictions ease. The Mainz manufacturer expects vaccine revenues of 13 to 17 billion euros. For comparison: in 2021, BioNTech achieved a turnover of almost 19 billion euros and a profit of a good 10.3 billion euros.

BioNTech partner Pfizer also recently confirmed its $32 billion sales forecast for the vaccine. BioNTech and the American group have signed contracts to supply around 2.4 billion doses of vaccines for 2022. Around 2.6 billion cans were delivered in 2021.

When is the Omicron vaccine?

A suitable vaccine against the highly contagious omicron variant could give further impetus to activity. However, it is still unclear when the vaccine will be on the market. BioNTech initially speculated that the Omicron vaccine might be available in the spring. The Mainz-based company announced the first results of the clinical study which started in January to mid-April. Now, these should only arrive in the next few weeks. Regulators are to blame for the delay, BioNTech boss Ugur Sahin said recently.

The European Medicines Agency EMA has asked pharmaceutical companies not only to develop a so-called monovalent vaccine, i.e. a vaccine specially adapted to Omicron, but also versions that include a combination of variants. The study has since been expanded to include several new cohorts – including one also investigating a larger omicron vaccine that covers the original Wuhan variant.

A Covid vaccine for children under five has yet to be approved. BioNTech expects clinical study data in the coming weeks. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach of the SPD does not expect suitable vaccines for the new variants before the fall. BioNTech, on the other hand, has offered to make a suitable new vaccine available in early summer.

Moderna Competition

American manufacturer Moderna is also working on a vaccine that would be equally effective against omicron and other variants. The American company is developing a so-called “pan vaccine” – as are German company CureVac and British partner GSK.

Experts predict a large number of new corona variants that could appear in the coming months. Doctors recently warned at the German Congress of Internal Medicine that there are already many subvariants of omicron.

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