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BioNTech expects Omicron-adapted vaccine deliveries as soon as October

BioNTech expects Omicron-adapted vaccine deliveries as soon as October

Vials labelled "VACCINE Coronavirus COVID-19" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed Biontech logo in this illustration taken December 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

BERLIN: BioNTech expects to begin deliveries of two Omicron-adapted vaccines as soon as October, which will help spur demand in the fourth quarter, the German biotech firm said on Monday (Aug 8) as it reaffirmed its vaccine-revenue forecast for the year.

Demand for the vaccine, 3.6 billion doses of which have been shipped globally, is waning as most people in the Western world have received three or four shots already.

However, booster campaigns using upgraded shots specifically targeting the Omicron variant are expected to increase demand in autumn. Pending regulatory approval, BioNTech said, both of its adapted vaccines would be available in time for the campaigns.

Second-quarter revenue and net profit both dropped by around 40 per cent from a year earlier, to €3.2 billion (US$3.26 billion) and €1.672 billion, respectively.

The company reaffirmed its 2022 vaccine revenue guidance of €13 billion to €17 billion, down from €19 billion last year. Partner Pfizer at the end of last month forecast US$32 billion in full-year COVID-19 vaccine sales.

"With our strong performance year to date, we believe to be well on track to achieve our previous financial guidance for the ongoing financial year," said Jens Holstein, chief financial officer of BioNTech.

"With our initiatives around variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccine candidates, we expect an uptake in demand in our key markets in the fourth quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approval."

BioNTech and Pfizer submitted one of the adapted vaccines, which targets the BA.1 subvariant, to the European Union drugs regulator European Medicines Agency last month, with delivery pending approval.

The other, targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants as recommended by the United States drug regulator, will begin clinical trials this month, with initial doses expected to be shipped also from as early as October.

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Source: Reuters/rc

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