By the end of this week, the world should cross two small but significant milestones on the road to overcoming COVID-19—getting at least 5% of the global population fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, with at least 10% receiving one dose of vaccines that require two.
According to Our World in Data, a collaboration of the Oxford Martin Programme on Global Development at the University of Oxford and the nonprofit Global Change Data Lab, 376,173,766 people were fully vaccinated as of May 20 (4.8% of global population), while 739,208,299 people had received one dose (9.5%).
The worldwide march toward vaccination explains why this year is expected to be as good as it gets when it comes to the size of the market for COVID-19 vaccines and drugs.
The vaccine market alone will peak this year at $67 billion, buoyed by the rollout of recently approved jabs that have now protected millions from SARS-CoV-2, according to a report issued last month by Morningstar. The first authorized drugs and vaccines indicated for the virus have already generated 16% of that forecast for their developers, more than a combined $10.91 billion in sales—more than double the $4.23 billion generated all of last year, according to GEN’s Top 7 Best-Selling COVID-19 Vaccines and Drugs of 2020.
Morningstar added that the COVID-19 market will shrink to $61 billion in 2022. For both this year and next, the majority of sales is expected to come from just two vaccines.
“Together, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna account for more than 60% of our total COVID-19 vaccine market sales estimate in 2021 and 2022,” Karen Andersen, Morningstar senior strategist, biotechnology, commented May 3. “We see their first-to-market status, manufacturing success, and leading efficacy and safety securing them dominant positions with relatively strong pricing power in the near term, although we’re watching for additional data from antigen-based vaccines and other mRNA vaccines that could alter the post-pandemic market dynamics.”
Morningstar recently initiated coverage of Moderna, but assigned the company its “very high uncertainty” and “no-moat” ratings, concluding that Moderna is still building its “moat,” or sustainable, competitive advantage, and faces numerous challenges in coming years.
“The key is with the virus. We’re not really sure how much more it will mutate, and how many more shots people will need. Is this going to be something where everyone needs an annual booster for COVID-19,” Andersen told GEN recently about Moderna’s biggest challenges.
Morningstar has estimated the size of the COVID-19 market sinking to $8 billion annually starting in 2023 in the best of three scenarios or “bull case” laid out by the firm, but dropping further to $2 billion in the middle or “base case,” and to $500 million in the worst or “bear case.” The number will depend on how frequently, and in how widespread of a population, will booster shots be needed.
GEN lists eight of the best-selling COVID-19 vaccines and drugs for which sales figures have been disclosed (or in the case of one company, suggested in a regulatory filing). Each drug or vaccine is listed by its name(s), sponsor(s), first-quarter 2021 sales as disclosed by sponsor(s), and the sponsors’ 2021 sales guidance to investors, with a comparison to forecasts earlier this year.
This list does not include numerous additional COVID-19 vaccines and drugs that are well into clinical development but have yet to win any approvals or emergency authorizations from regulators.
|8. Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine
Sponsor: Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
Sponsor: Sinovac Biotech
|6. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (AZD1222; sold as Vaxzevria in Europe)
|5. REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab)
Sponsor: Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
|4. Bamlanivimab and etesevimab5
Sponsor: Eli Lilly
|3. Veklury® (remdesivir)
Sponsor: Gilead Sciences
|2. Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (mRNA-1273)
|1. BNT162b2 (sold as Comirnaty® in EU and Switzerland)
Sponsors: Pfizer and BioNTech
1 Estimate based on Sinovac’s Form 20-F annual report for 2020. Sinovac reported that its total 2020 sales increased by 107.5% to $510.6 million, from $246.1 million in 2019. “The growth was mainly contributed by sales of CoronaVac.”
2 CoronaVac is not authorized or approved in the United States.
3 COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (sold as Vaxzevria in Europe) is not authorized or approved in the United States. While AstraZeneca said in late April it intended to file for emergency use authorization (EUA) within weeks, but needed to compile extensive datasets for submission to the FDA, the company may skip an EUA and file for full approval, The Wall Street Journal reported on May 7, citing unnamed sources. In response, the company said in a statement that it “continues to progress our FDA submission for AZD1222.”
4 2021 vaccine revenue guidance to be reported with release of Q2 results, set to occur July 29.
5 Effective Q1, Lilly began reporting sales of its COVID-19 antibodies as a single entity, “COVID-19 Antibodies,” consisting of both sales for bamlanivimab administered alone (which were furnished during the fourth quarter of 2020) as well as sales for bamlanivimab and etesevimab administered together, pursuant to FDA Emergency Use Authorizations.
6 Q1 2021 sales worldwide consisted of $3.456 billion reported by Pfizer from “BNT162b2 alliance revenues and direct sales,” as well as $2.377 billion reported by BioNTech, consisting of €1.752 billion ($2.134 billion) comprising its share of gross profit from COVID-19 vaccine sales in Pfizer’s territories plus sales milestones—as well as €199.8 million ($243.2 million) in direct COVID-19 vaccine sales to customers in territories outside its collaboration with Pfizer.
7 U.S. sales during Q1 2021 were reported by Pfizer from “BNT162b2 alliance revenues and direct sales.”