Covid-19 generates 23.1 billion euros in sales to five manufacturers

The fastest research laboratories and manufacturing capacity to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic with a vaccine are beginning to reap the rewards.

Five manufacturers have earned 23,103 billion euros in the first half of the year thanks to their immunization products against SARS-CoV-2, as reflected in the accounts presented by the companies.

These are Pfizer, BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson (through its pharmaceutical subsidiary Janssen) and AstraZeneca, are the five Western listed companies that bear the largest distribution of profits.

The last pharmaceutical company to offer the data, yesterday, was BioNTech, which shot up its turnover by 10,495%, to 7,3 billion euros. Thanks to its first product, this mRNA vaccine, the German biotechnology company manages to go from 142 million losses in the first half of 2020 to 3.9 billion in net profit a year later.

These revenues are in addition to those of its US partner Pfizer, which earned 9,6 billion for this product until June. Sales for the vaccine accounted for no less than 34% of the entire turnover of the New York giant, which for this reason becomes by far the world’s leading laboratory by turnover, leaving behind the Swiss Novartis and Roche.

This vaccine, called Comirnaty, also boosted Pfizer’s revenue in the first half of the year by 68%, to 28,5 billion, and profit, which rose 53%, to 8,8billion.

Adding the revenues from Pfizer and BioNTech, Comirnaty has become by far the most relevant business, since it contributed to its manufacturers 16,9 billion.

Success is justified for several reasons: this option was the first to be approved in the US and Europe. Laboratories have demonstrated the greatest industrial capacity, and it has also won the trust of governments although it is being used on an emergency fashion and has not been approved by health agencies.

Moderna signs contracts for 10,2 billion

A similar case has been that of Moderna, also with an mRNA solution. The income of the American biotech skyrocketed 8,260%, to 5,3 billion euros, of which almost 95% are explained by the sales of the vaccine.

This product also facilitated the end of losses and earned 3,4 billion. The figures in this case are not so high because Moderna’s industrial capacity is much lower.

In the near future, these alternatives may have even more value for their manufacturers. Moderna recently announced that by 2022 it has signed contracts for 10,2 billion to distribute its product and has another 6,8 billion in optional contracts. Pfizer has also revealed that by the end of the year it expects to gain 28,5 billion.

It should also be remembered that these laboratories have received multimillion-dollar injections to develop their vaccines, both from the United States in Operation Warp Speed, and from the European Union through advances on supply contracts. Likewise, it has been the governments that have used taxpayer money to pay for purchases.

AstraZeneca and Janssen

The last to arrive, with production problems and delays due to the analysis of possible adverse effects, have also seen how they have generated less income.

For AstraZeneca, Vaxzevria has only accounted for 984 million euros, although it has helped the British sales increase 23%, to 984 million. In this case, in addition, the company has agreed to market its vaccine at cost, without profit.

In the case of Johnson & Johnson, the last to arrive and with production problems in the US, its single-dose version had a turnover of only 224 million euros, a tiny portion of the revenues of the pharmaceutical and consumer products giant.

Regarding the net profit of these five companies, as a whole it also shoots up 94%, to 28,6 billion. In the case of Moderna and BioNTech, these profits obviously correspond to the vaccine, since they only market that product.

In other cases like AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer the relationship is less direct. Even so, that the profit of this last company grows by 53% can only be explained almost entirely by the vaccine.

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