Dhe vaccine manufacturer Biontech tore investors back and forth on Monday with ambiguous news. On the one hand, the message of a significant decline in business in the third quarter was a shock. Sales and profits fell by more than 40 percent compared to the same period last year. This slump was justified by the fact that the pandemic was developing dynamically, as expected, which led to fluctuating quarterly revenues.
At the same time, however, the new vaccines, adapted to the omicron variant of the coronavirus, make management more confident about the future. The Mainz-based company raised its revenue forecast for the year as a whole.
The price of the Biontech share, which is listed on the American technology exchange Nasdaq, went up and down from a pre-market daily high to a subsequent daily low with losses of more than 4 percent and then rose again with around 3 percent .
CFO Jens Holstein spoke of a “strong performance” in the third quarter, which is why the sales forecast for the Covid 19 vaccine for the current financial year has been raised to the upper end of the original range. Instead of the previously indicated 13 to 17 billion euros, 16 to 17 billion euros are now being targeted. “We started shipping our Omicron-adapted bivalent vaccine in early September and expect to continue doing so in the fourth quarter of 2022,” he said.
300 million Omikron doses
Together with its partner Pfizer, the German biopharmaceutical company invoiced around 300 million doses of the bivalent vaccine adapted to Omikron BA.1 and Omikron BA.4/BA.5 by mid-October. Overall, the company assumes that up to 2.1 billion corona vaccine doses will be invoiced this year. “Some can deliveries have been postponed to 2023 due to the developing demand dynamics,” it added. This, in turn, fueled concerns about the future revenues that Biontech can achieve with its only marketed product to date.
According to its own statements, the company assumes that its Covid-19 vaccine portfolio will remain a long-term and sustainable business area. Nevertheless, investors are looking with great interest at which products Biontech can bring to the market in the future. Accordingly, the people from Mainz always refer in detail to the opportunities of future revenue generators. “We want to use the knowledge gained in the development of vaccines adapted to Omikron and transfer what we have learned to other disease areas and product candidates,” said company boss and co-founder Ugur Sahin. “We continue to expand our infectious disease Covid-19 and vaccine portfolio and expand our oncology pipeline.”
19 product candidates in cancer medicine
In the field of cancer, a total of 19 product candidates in 24 ongoing clinical studies are on the agenda. News from up to ten oncology clinical trials and the start of up to five clinical trials for vaccine candidates against infectious diseases are expected in the coming year. 2023 will be a meaningful year for Biontech, summarized strategy chief Ryan Richardson.
Meanwhile, 2022 is prone to fluctuations. In the third quarter, demand for the original Corona vaccine Comirnaty from Biontech and Pfizer fell significantly, also because a supply agreement with the European Commission was postponed to the fourth quarter. From July to September, Biontech turned over 3.46 billion euros after 6.09 billion euros a year ago. Net profit shrank to 1.78 billion from 3.21 billion euros. In a nine-month comparison, the profit of 7.15 billion euros was about the same as the previous year.
Biontech partner Pfizer had already increased its forecast last week. Americans are now expecting Covid-19 vaccine sales of $34 billion this year, $2 billion more than previously. Competitor Moderna is not doing as well. Last week, the company reported similar business developments to Biontech for the third quarter. Moderna also reported significantly lower sales and profits, the minus amounted to more than 30 percent each. Unlike Biontech, however, Moderna had to reduce the sales target for its corona vaccine this year due to delivery delays. In 2022, the vaccines are expected to generate revenue of $18 to $19 billion instead of the previously expected $21 billion. On Wall Street, the Moderna share price had fallen by up to 9 percent at its peak. As one analyst summed it up, “You can tell this company is still in its infancy, unlike Pfizer, which is already done and able to produce and ship.”