Pfizer forecasts steep fall in 2023 sales of COVID products

Pfizer forecasts steep fall in 2023 sales of COVID products

Jan 31 (Reuters) – Pfizer Inc ( PFE.N ) on Tuesday forecast a steeper-than-expected drop in sales of its COVID-19 vaccine and treatment in 2023, heightening investor concerns about demand for the products as government orders and work reduced by inventories.

CEO Albert Bourla said 2023 should be a “transitional year” for Pfizer’s COVID products, before potentially returning to growth in 2024.

Pfizer’s total annual sales surpassed the $100 billion mark for the first time in 2022, driven by more than $56 billion in sales of the COVID-19 vaccine and Paxlovid antiviral drug. In 2023, he expects revenue to be $67 billion to $71 billion.

Reuters graphic

Pfizer shares fell 2.8% to $42.34 premarket. The stock tumbled 15% this month through Monday’s close.

Citi analyst Andrew Baum said in a research note that the company is struggling to escape its reliance on COVID-19 drugs.

“We see little here to change our cautious view on Pfizer’s former COVID business,” Baum wrote.

The decline in COVID-19-related revenue isn’t the only headwind facing Pfizer. The drugmaker is set to lose patent protection for some big-selling drugs after 2025, such as cancer treatment Ibrance and arthritis drug Xeljanz, and said it expects to lose $17 billion in annual sales between 2025 and 2030 due to the patent expirations. .

Pfizer has turned to acquisitions such as its $5.4 billion buyout of Global Blood Therapeutics Inc and its $11.6 billion purchase of migraine drug maker Biohaven to bolster its pipeline of future products. It launched five new products last year and hopes to launch 14 more over the next year and a half, including a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as well as an mRNA vaccine for influenza.

Excluding the COVID-19 drugs, Pfizer expects revenue to grow 7% to 9% in 2023.

Pfizer developed its COVID-19 vaccine with German partner BioNTech, and the companies split the profits. The U.S. drugmaker forecast 2023 sales of $13.5 billion from the shot, below Refinitiv estimates of $14.39 billion, and projected $8 billion in Paxlovid sales, short of analysts’ expectations of $10.33 billion.

Reuters graphic

Bourla said the company expects to start selling its vaccine Comirnaty through commercial channels in the United States in the second half of 2023, rather than selling the shots directly to the government. After that transition, the company hopes to roughly quadruple the U.S. price of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Analysts and investors sought clarity on China’s demand for Paxlovid, where the drug is only covered by the country’s broad healthcare insurance plan until the end of March.

Pfizer said its current 2023 forecast for sales assumes no revenue from China after April 1, but Bourla said the company expects to offer Paxlovid in the private market after that.

Reporting by Manas Mishra and Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru and Michael Erman in New Jersey; Editing by Maju Samuel, Sriraj Kalluvila and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *