Pfizer Owes Massive $14.6 Billion Q1 Revenues to Vaccine Rollout


Pfizer reported its first-quarter 2021 revenues of $14.6 billion, an impressive 42% operational growth. It’s much tamer when you exclude gains from the COVID-19 vaccine developed with Germany’s BioNTech. The first-quarter revenues for the vaccine account for $3.5 billion of total revenues of $14.6 billion.

“I am extremely proud of the way we have begun 2021, delivering strong financial results in the first quarter,” said Albert Bourla, chairman and chief executive officer of Pfizer. “Even excluding the growth provided from BNT162b2 (the COVID-19 vaccine), our revenues grew 8% operationally, which aligns with our stated goal of delivering at least a 6% compound annual growth rate through 2025. In addition, we have achieved capacity to supply urgently-needed doses of BNT162b2 to the world. Each of these accomplishments further demonstrates our commitment to Pfizer’s purpose: Breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.”

Not everything went as smoothly. Pfizer indicated it had halted enrollment for its MagnetisMM-3 Phase II trial of elranatamab for multiple myeloma in the release. 

Elranatamab is a BCMA CD3-targeted bispecific antibody. The enrollment was stopped after identifying three cases of peripheral neuropathy in the ongoing Phase I study. The company shared the data with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as they continue to investigate if the cases are directly associated with the therapeutics.

Source: BioSpace

This quarter also marks the first quarter without Upjohn being part of the corporation. The spin-off of the Upjohn Business was completed in the fourth quarter of 2020. Pfizer, as a result, runs as a focused, innovative biopharmaceutical company working on discovering, developing, manufacturing, marketing, selling, and distributing biopharmaceutical products around the globe. The Upjohn Business revenues and expenses for the first quarter of 2020 have been recategorized as discontinued operations. 

Pfizer’s Meridian subsidiary, which manufactures the EpiPen and other auto-injector products, was formerly reported in the Upjohn Business but is now included in the Hospital therapeutic areas.

Although not explicitly addressed in the first-quarter announcement, the company expects the FDA to authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine within the week for adolescents ages 12 and older. 

The vaccine is currently approved for individuals 16 years of age and older. The company presented data about a month ago in support of the expanded indication. It is also conducting a Phase I/II/III seamless trial in children ages six months to 11 years of age, with three cohorts: five to 11 years; two to five years; and six months to two years.

Because of the boost from the vaccine, Pfizer is raising its guidance ranges for revenues, adjusted cost of sales as a percentage of revenues, adjusted R&D expenses, and adjusted diluted EPS. 

Revenues are now adjusted from a range of $59.4 to $61.4 billion to a range of $70.5 to $72.5 billion. Adjusted cost of sales as a percentage of revenues was previously 32-33% and has been adjusted to 38 to 39%. SI & A expenses are now $11 to $12 billion, adjusted R&D expenses have risen from $9.2 to $9.7 billion to $9.8 to $10.3 billion.

And because of more supply agreements for the COVID-19 vaccine, the company has adjusted guidance for vaccine revenues from $15 billion to $26 billion.

“I am very happy with the performance of all of our therapeutic areas this quarter,” said Frank D’Amelio, Pfizer’s chief financial officer and executive vice president, Global Supply. “Multiple innovative and biosimilar products across our portfolio delivered growth, demonstrating the strength of our business and the depth and breadth of our growth drivers. I am also pleased with our recent announcement that we will maintain our dividend for second-quarter 2021 at the current level, even after Viatris begins paying its dividend. This will make 2021 the 12th year in a row with a dividend increase. I remain confident in Pfizer’s ability to continue to deliver on our commitments to our patients and shareholders in 2021 and beyond.”


BioSpace source: