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Pfizer plans to file for full FDA approval of Covid vaccine at the end of this month


A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a “Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine” sticker and a medical syringe in front of displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken, October 30, 2020.

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

Pfizer said Tuesday it plans to file for full U.S. approval of its Covid-19 vaccine with German drugmaker BioNTech at the end of this month. If the FDA signs off, the company will be able to market the shot directly to consumers.

In releasing its first-quarter financial results, the company also reported $3.5 billion in first-quarter sales of its Covid-19 vaccine and reported earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street’s expectations.

Here’s how Pfizer did compared with what Wall Street expected, according to average estimates compiled by Refinitiv:

  • Adjusted EPS: 93 cents per share vs 77 cents expected
  • Revenue: $14.58 billion vs. $13.51 billion expected

The company now expects full-year sales of $26 billion from the vaccine, up from its previous forecast of about $15 billion.

Shares of Pfizer rose 1.4% after the news.

Revenue from Pfizer’s oncology, internal medicine, hospital and rare disease units all rose by double digits during the quarter, according to the earnings report. The company’s inflammation and immunology unit generated about $1 billion in sales, a 9% increase from a year ago.

Pfizer reported double-digit growth in sales for many of its cancer drugs, including Inlyta, Bosulif and Lorbrena.

The company received U.S. authorization of its Covid vaccine in late December. Since then, the company has distributed millions of doses to the U.S., with the goal of delivering 300 million doses by the end of July.

Usually, it takes the Food and Drug Administration nearly a year or longer to determine whether a drug is safe and effective for use in the general public. But due to the once-in-a-century pandemic, which has killed nearly 600,000 Americans, the FDA permitted the use of the shots under an Emergency Use Authorization, or EUA.

An EUA grants conditional approval based on two months of data. It’s not the same as a Biologic License Application, or BLA, which requires six months of data and secures full approval.

If the vaccine is fully approved, it sets the stage for the company to begin advertising the shots directly to consumers and change its pricing. It also allows the shot to stay on the market once the pandemic is over and the U.S. is no longer considered in an “emergency.”

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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