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21 January, 2021 - 21:08 By Tony Quested

Pre-purchase deals give AstraZeneca COVID vaccine the global edge

New research shows that while pharma giants BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna will earn $14.7 billion from sales of their COVID-19 vaccines in the next two years, Cambridge Big Biotech AstraZeneca is the drug manufacturer with the highest number of ordered COVID-19 vaccine doses.

Data presented by Finaria.it highlights the cash-versus-coverage element of this particular arms race – more precisely jabs in arms!

With countries worldwide facing the full force of the pandemic’s second wave, Finaria.it has produced seminal research on availability and end-result. It reports that the vaccine from the BioNTech-Pfizer cooperation is set to generate over $3.1bn in sales during 2021. However, this figure is expected to drop to under $1.4bn in 2022 and continue falling in the next few years. 

It says the significant downside of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine is its need for ultra-cold storage. Many countries don’t have the required cold chain logistics and most likely won’t have it in the years to come. 

In 2023, the BionTech-Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine sales is forecast to generate $914 million, almost 3.5 times less than in 2021.

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Massachusetts-based biotech company Moderna Therapeutics, in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, is expected to generate over $3.5bn in revenue this year, $400 million more than the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine.

This vaccine has been approved in the United States, the UK and EU, Canada and Israel. Statistics show the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine’s annual sales revenue is expected to remain around $2.9bn in the next two years.

Although Pfizer and Moderna are set for the lion’s share of 2021 vaccine sales, data shows that at the beginning of 2021 there were pre-purchase agreements for almost three billion doses for AstraZeneca/Oxford’s vaccine. 

One of the biggest advantages of the UK-generated version is the ability to be stored at average refrigerator temperatures, while other vaccines need ultra-cold storage.

Although still in phase III of clinical trials and without approval, Novavax’s vaccine is the second-highest by the number of orders worldwide at almost 1.3 billion. 

In terms of doses administered to date, China leads the way; out of 25.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered worldwide China accounted for more than a third of that number, with nine million vaccine doses. 

The US ranked second with more than eight million doses administrated. The UK, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates follow with 2 million, 1.8 million, and one million doses, respectively.

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