Comirnaty on track to make sales history


If other big pharma groups have disappointed in the first quarter Pfizer has blown expectations out of the water, thanks to its Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty. Sales of the mRNA jab were $3.5bn for the first three months, and Pfizer raised its annual guidance for the vaccine by $11bn to $26bn, meaning that this could account for 36% of full-year revenues. In fact, Comirnaty is set to achieve the highest annual sales of any drug to date, beating the $20.4bn forecast for Humira this year. Given Comirnaty's success it is not surprising that Pfizer plans to mine this rich seam further; an mRNA flu vaccine is set to enter the clinic in the third quarter, and other mRNA announcements are expected this year. But it has not been all plain sailing: as well as a previously disclosed delay for abrocitinib, Pfizer’s bispecific antibody elranatamab has been stopped owing to three cases of peripheral neuropathy in phase 1, and the US trial of the DMD gene therapy fordadistrogene has been halted over FDA questions about its potency assay mix. But against the backdrop of uninspiring updates from competitors, Pfizer is big pharma's pandemic winner, thanks to Biontech and Comirnaty.

Drugs booking at least $10bn in annual sales
Company Product Peak annual sales to 2021 ($bn) Year sales achieved Note
Pfizer Comirnaty 26.0 2021 Pfizer guidance
Abbvie Humira 20.4 2021 Consensus estimate
Gilead Harvoni + Sovaldi 19.1 2015 Actual
Moderna mRNA-1273 18.4 2021 Consensus estimate
Merck & Co Keytruda 17.5 2021 Consensus estimate
Bristol Myers Revlimid 13.0 2021 Consensus estimate
Pfizer Lipitor 12.9 2006 Actual
Bristol Myers Squibb Eliquis 10.3 2021 Consensus estimate
Source: Evaluate Pharma. Excludes forecasts after 2021; some products might record higher sales beyond 2021.

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