COVID vaccine 90 per cent effective in trials

Huge profits expected from virus vaccine

US drugmaker Pfizer and the German biotech firm BioNTech could rake in almost $13 billion in global sales from the coronavirus vaccine next year, according to US investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Pfizer and BioNTech announced this week that their vaccine candidate - which is one of more than 40 versions in development - was 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19.


No other company has yet made similar claims about its effectiveness.

"We are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis," Pfizer chairman Albert Bourla said.


Pfizer is set to profit from the lifesaving vaccine as a commercial opportunity alongside BioNTech. The multibillion-dollar fortune would be split evenly between the drugmaker and the biotech firm, according to analysts.

Pfizer's half would be more than its best-selling product, a pneumococcal vaccine, which brought in around $5.8 billion last year, the Guardian reports.

The pharmaceutical company has agreed to supply the vaccine to the US for $19.50 per dose - a two-shot course would be priced at $39.

Meanwhile, the EU has ordered 200 million doses while the UK has ordered 40 million doses.

 

Pfizer turned down government funding, choosing to use $2 billion of its own money instead to develop the vaccine without US government-backed research funds.

Rival US drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, along with AstraZeneca, is developing a coronavirus vaccine in partnership with Oxford University. They have both pledged to make their vaccines available on a not-for-profit basis during the pandemic.

This comes as the world's most respected infectious disease experts hinted that people could begin receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine as early as 2021.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the US government's top infectious diseases expert, said Americans could begin receiving a coronavirus vaccine within the "first four months" of 2021 in a move that has been described as a "game changer".

"If you hear something is 90 to 95 per cent effective, you're more likely to get vaccinated," Dr Fauci told CNN.

 

Originally published as Huge profits expected from virus vaccine


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