German vaccine maker BioNTech on Monday lowered its 2023 sales forecast for its COVID-19 vaccine to around 4 billion euros (4.28 billion U.S. dollars). In spring, the company had still predicted sales of 5 billion euros.
“As a result of later-than-anticipated regulatory approvals and their effect on national vaccination campaign timelines, expected sales have shifted to future periods,” BioNTech said in a statement.
In addition, charges of more than 1 billion euros on the part of U.S. partner Pfizer would impact sales.
In the first nine months of the year, BioNTech’s sales slumped by 82 percent year-on-year to 2.34 billion euros, according to the company. Net profit even dropped by 93 percent to just 472 million euros.
The number of COVID-19 infections in Germany has been rising since the beginning of autumn, but only a small number of residents, less than 16 percent, have received a booster shot with a vaccine adapted to virus variants, according to the latest figures by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
Even among the over-60s and other high-risk patients for whom a booster is recommended, “there is still room for improvement,” Nicola Buhlinger-Goepfarth, chairwoman of the German General Practitioners’ Association, said at the beginning of the month.
With up to 2 billion euros, BioNTech is investing the bulk of this year’s turnover in research and development. The company’s focus is on the development of an mRNA-based cancer vaccine, whose research also formed the basis of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Our strategy focuses on assembling a diverse toolbox of complementary technologies to deliver novel therapies, aiming to improve the standard of care for cancer patients,” BioNTech Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ugur Sahin said. (1 euro = 1.07 U.S. dollar)