Covid-19 pill could add another $15-25B to Pfizer's already torrid pandemic cash flow — analyst
If you thought Pfizer was raking it in with megablockbuster sales of its BioNTech-partnered Covid-19 vaccine — last projected at $36 billion for 2021 — think again.
As the pharma giant sends off its EUA submission for its antiviral pill to the FDA, the Washington Post, New York Times and others are reporting that the US government is planning a $5 billion contract to purchase 10 million courses of the treatment, dubbed Paxlovid.
Barclay’s analysts crunched the numbers. Their conclusion: That could mean another $15 billion to $25 billion in 2022 revenue for Pfizer if all goes well.
Oral drugs that patients can take at home soon after they start seeing symptoms have been hailed as a major breakthrough for the pandemic. Merck was the first to deliver positive Phase III results with molnupiravir, and Pfizer quickly followed by showing that Paxlovid cut the risk of Covid-related hospitalization or death by 89% compared to placebo.
Merck has forecast about $7 billion in molnupiravir sales through the end of next year.
The reported terms of Pfizer’s supply deal, Barclays analysts wrote, imply greater volume but lower pricing than the contracts Merck negotiated. Whereas molnupiravir was sold at about $700 per course, Paxlovid’s price is estimated at $300 to $500 per course.
Besides, they added, “the US government secured volumes more than 3x what it has already secured for Merck’s molnupiravir (10mn vs. 3.1mn).”
To get the $15-25 billion number, they made the assumption that 90% of doses are distributed.
Both companies have pledged to share their patents with generic makers and nonprofits so that developing countries can access them at a much lower cost.
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