Pfizer partner BioNTech, riding high on COVID-19 vaccine launch, eyes $11.5B in revenue this year

COVID-19 vaccine players are in the process of improving their supply chains to produce billions of doses. (BioNTech)

Pfizer and BioNTech have hustled to produce as many COVID-19 vaccine doses as possible this year, and that effort is paying off in a big way. After Pfizer unveiled a lofty COVID-19 vaccine revenue estimate last month, its partner BioNTech says it's in line to collect more than $11 billion.

Under vaccine purchase orders the partners have already inked covering 1.4 billion doses, BioNTech stands to collect around €9.8 billion ($11.5 billion) in 2021, the company said Tuesday. In early February, Pfizer said it expected $15 billion in revenues from the COVID-19 vaccine this year. 

Additional purchasing talks are underway, so the projections could increase as the year goes on. 

So far, the partners have pledged 500 million doses to Europe, 300 million million doses to the United States, and hundreds of millions of doses to various other countries.

Meanwhile, while their current orders cover 1.4 billion doses, the partners again increased their dose production target for the year. After previously boosting their goal to 2 billion doses, the companies now target 2.5 billion doses. 

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Manufacturing “optimization,” plus a recent factory approval in Germany and six-dose vials are driving the increase, the company said. Pfizer and BioNTech are in further talks to expand their production and supplier network, so that the supply target could grow even more.

During a Reuters interview earlier this month, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the company would “clearly” exceed its supply goal of 2 billion doses. At the time, he projected the partners could make 2.3 billion to 2.4 billion doses. Previously, the companies had said they'd manufacture 1.3 billion doses by year-end. 

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Like other COVID-19 vaccine players, BioNTech and Pfizer are working 24/7 to produce as many doses of their authorized vaccine as possible. The other mRNA vaccine company with an authorized shot, Moderna, has said it’s working to produce up to 1 billion doses this year.  

Beyond mRNA, J&J has said it’s targeting 1 billion doses of its adenovirus-based shot for 2021, while Novavax and AstraZeneca are eying multibillion-dose outputs this year.  

As of last week, Pfizer and BioNTech had supplied more than 200 million doses of the vaccine globally.