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A billion doses and counting: COVID vaccine helps BioNTech reverse its financial fortunes

Written by on 09/08/2021

BioNTech has reported a reversal in its financial fortunes after it developed one of the most widely-used coronavirus vaccines.

The German pharmaceutical company worked with Pfizer to create the vaccine, with more than a billion doses supplied to over 100 countries or territories.

Along with the AstraZeneca jab, it has been used in the UK since December.

BioNTech reported a net profit of €2.7bn (£2.3bn) between April and June, compared with a €88.3m (£74.8m) net loss in the same period last year.

The net profit for the six months ending 30 June was €3.9bn (£3.3bn), compared with a €141m (£119m) the year before.

German scientists, CEOs and founders of BioNTech, Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin receive the Order of Merit in Berlin
Image: The founders of of BioNTech, Ozlem Tureci and Ugur Sahin received the Order of Merit in Berlin earlier this year

BioNTech expects this will result in around €15.9bn (£13.5bn) in revenue from the vaccine alone over the year, and has announced plans to spend a large part on research and development.

This includes trialling vaccines for flu and malaria, and trials of its FixVac – immunotherapy which uses similar technology to the COVID-19 vaccine – on metastatic melanoma, head and neck cancers, and breast cancer.

More on Covid-19

The company said more than one billion doses of its coronavirus vaccine had been supplied as of 21 July and that it had signed agreements to supply approximately 2.2 billion doses.

It expects to reach annual manufacturing capacity of three billion doses by the end of this year and four billion next year.

The growth will be helped by the European approval to use its facility in Marburg, Germany, for the vaccine.

The facility is one of the largest mRNA vaccine manufacturing sites in the world and will be able to produce up to one billion doses once fully operational.

The firm's facility in Marburg, Germany
Image: The firm’s facility in Marburg, Germany

There are also plans for an mRNA manufacturing facility in Singapore from 2023, with an estimated annual capacity of several hundred million doses, and plans to work with The Biovac Institute in South Africa to make vaccines for African Union countries.

Ugur Sahin, chief executive and co-founder of BioNTech, said: “We and our partner Pfizer have crossed the one billion mark for COVID-19 vaccine doses shipped worldwide.

“We are proud to have reached this great milestone after only six months and to have made a difference for people with our proprietary mRNA technology.

“To address the ongoing pandemic, we are expanding the supply of our COVID-19 vaccine to more than 100 countries and regions worldwide, including enhancing access to low and middle-income countries.

“At the same time, we further developed our oncology pipeline, including the recent initiation of randomized Phase 2 trials for two FixVac programs.

“We were able to advance multiple oncology programs across various technology platforms which are now entering later stage testing, providing the potential for introducing a series of product candidates to the market in the coming years.”

The company’s share price was up almost 14% on the results.

 Sky News

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