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Pfizer Gains on $5.29 Billion Deal with U.S. for Covid-19 Pill

Stock Markets32 minutes ago (Nov 18, 2021 10:56AM ET)

(C) Reuters

By Dhirendra Tripathi – Pfizer stock (NYSE:PFE) rose 0.4% Thursday as the company said the U.S. government has placed a $5.29 billion order to buy 10 million treatment courses of its experimental drug for treating Covid-19.

The Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve the pill, and the supplies, to be completed by 2022, will start once that is in.

The company said it has also entered into advance purchase agreements with several other countries and has initiated bilateral outreach to approximately 100 nations around the world.

The antiviral pill is one of only three oral medicines so far to prove their efficacy against Covid-19, along with treatments from Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Regeneron (NASDAQ:REGN). Pfizer claims to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by 89%. Merck’s molnupiravir, developed in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, boasts an efficacy ratio of just over 50%.

Pfizer recently raised its guidance, mostly banking on sales of its Comirnaty vaccine to boost sales. It now sees $81.5 billion in sales in 2021 at the midpoint of its forecast range, including $36 billion in sales of its Covid-19 vaccine. That’s $2.5 billion more than the previous forecast.

The pill is seen as the second winner in the company’s Covid portfolio that is now looking at approvals to its booster dose to lend more strength to the sales.

The company is awaiting the outcome of today’s meeting of FDA experts who will discuss the merits of a third shot for all adults. So far, only those at least 65 or vulnerable are eligible for a third shot of the company’s vaccine.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s independent committee will meet Friday to discuss the same.

Gains from the pill could be limited though as the company will allow generic manufacturers to make the medicine while waiving royalties on sales in low- and middle-income countries.

Pfizer Gains on $5.29 Billion Deal with U.S. for Covid-19 Pill

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