Pfizer sold a staggering $7.8 billion worth of coronavirus jabs during the second quarter — and predicted its profits will continue to explode as the Delta variant spurs fresh demand for booster shots.
The New York pharma giant — which said it is planning to submit a COVID booster shot for approval as soon as next week — expects to make a whopping $33.5 billion from selling 2.1 billion coronavirus vaccines this year, chief financial officer Frank D’Amelio told investors on Wednesday.
That’s a nearly 30 percent increase from the company’s previous projections — and makes the two-dose vaccine, which was developed jointly with Germany’s BioNTech, among the most profitable drugs in history.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines were responsible for more than a third of the company’s $18.98 billion in total revenue during the April through June quarter. That figure slightly beat the expectations of Wall Street analysts, who had forecast $18.74 billion in revenue, according to CNBC.
The company’s stock was up 1.8 percent at $42.86 shortly after trading began Wednesday, according to MarketWatch data.
As the highly contagious Delta variant drives up coronavirus cases across the US and world, Pfizer told investors it is imminently planning to submit a third booster shot to American and European regulators.
“We are in ongoing discussions with regulatory agencies regarding a potential third dose booster of the current vaccine and, assuming positive results, anticipate an Emergency Use Authorization submission as early as August,” said Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten.
Israel’s prime minister recently said that Pfizer’s vaccine is “significantly less” effective at preventing people from contracting the Delta variant, although the shot is keeping most from becoming seriously ill.
A recent New England Journal of Medicine study showed the Pfizer vaccine was 88 percent effective at preventing people from contracting the Delta variant, compared to 94 percent protection against the disease’s alpha strain, which was the first to be identified.
Dolsten said Pfizer’s booster shot is “specifically designed to target the Delta variant” and pointed to preliminary data showing that the dose would be effective.
“Receiving a third dose more than six months after vaccination, when protection may be beginning to wane, was estimated to potentially boost the neutralizing antibody titers in participants in this study to up to 100 times higher post-dose three compared to pre-dose three,” Dolsten said.