Vaccines against the corona virus brought the manufacturer Biontech a net profit in the billions in 2022. However, it was lower than in the previous year. In any case, the fat years seem to be over for the time being. Sales of Covid-19 vaccines are falling. There are new drugs in the pipeline to treat cancer and infectious diseases such as influenza and malaria, but none of them are ready for the market yet. For 2023, Biontech expects sales from Covid-19 vaccines to be estimated at five billion euros, which would roughly be a third of sales in 2022.
The share price on the New York Stock Exchange collapsed at times on Monday. Biontech is far away from the old records. The paper peaked on August 9, 2021 at $441.38. On Friday last week, the stock closed trading in New York at $128.20.
As the Mainz-based company announced on Monday, sales in 2022 fell to an estimated 17.3 billion euros after almost 19 billion euros in the previous year, and net profit fell from 10.3 billion euros in 2021 to 9.4 billion euros. The proceeds come almost exclusively from Covid-19 vaccines and, at 17.1 billion euros, are close to the forecast of 16 to 17 billion euros specified at the beginning of November. In 2022, Biontech and its US partner Pfizer reportedly accounted for around two billion doses.
CFO Jens Holstein expects the market for Covid-19 vaccines to enter a commercial phase in 2023, first in the US and later in other regions. The prices would vary greatly depending on the market. So far, deliveries have been made through preliminary contracts with public institutions. The supply contract with the EU Commission is currently being renegotiated, Holstein said in a conference call for analysts. The discussion is about stretching the delivery over several years or reducing the volume. Holstein did not want to comment on the prices, saying they were in the middle of negotiations. The Covid-19 market continues to be very dynamic. While the need for primary immunization and boosters will diminish, there is a need for new variant-adapted vaccines. Demand will develop seasonally, sales are expected to shift significantly into the second half of the year, explained the CFO.
Biontech and Pfizer see themselves as market leaders in Covid vaccines worldwide. The vaccination campaign in Germany has been running for more than 820 days. According to the Robert Koch Institute and the Federal Ministry of Health, more than 192 million vaccine doses have been administered in Germany to date. By the end of last week, around 224 million doses had been delivered, with almost 165 million doses coming from Biontech and its US partner Pfizer.
Biontech wants to invest the money from the Covid vaccine business in research and development, cooperation with other companies and acquisitions, explained CFO Holstein. “Our medium-term goal is to seek approval of several oncology products in indications with a high unmet medical need,” announced co-founder and CEO Uğur Şahin. The largest takeover in the company’s history to date has been underway since the beginning of the year. Biontech wants to take over the British start-up Insta Deep, which specializes in artificial intelligence, for a good 400 million euros.