Shares in BioNTech surged 8% in U.S. premarket trading on Monday, after the German biotechnology group’s first-quarter earnings revealed a windfall of revenue and profit amid the global push to vaccinate against COVID-19.
with U.S. drug company Pfizer
co-developed the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive the green light from regulators following large-scale clinical trials. The first shots began in December 2020, with the global rollout of vaccines picking up speed dramatically in the first three months of the year.
The group reported revenues of €2.05 billion ($2.49 billion) in the first three months of 2021, outpacing analyst expectations of €1.7 billion, according to the FactSet consensus. Revenues in the same period in 2020 were €27.7 million. Net profit surged €1.13 billion in the first quarter of 2021, up from €53.4 million in 2020.
BioNTech said that it had supplied more than 450 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to 91 countries or territories as of May 6, with signed agreements for more than 1.8 billion doses in 2021. The estimated revenues from COVID-19 vaccine deliveries, based on the currently signed contracts, is €12.4 billion.
BioNTech also said there was no evidence that its COVID-19 vaccine needed to be adapted to deal with the variants of the virus that causes the coronavirus disease that have been identified.
Beyond its quarterly results, the group announced on Monday that it was expanding into Asia with a new regional headquarters in Singapore. BioNTech said it would establish a new mRNA manufacturing facility in the city-state with support from the Singapore Economics Development Board, adding regional and global supply capacity for its product candidates.
On Friday, BioNTech and Pfizer said they have started the process of seeking full U.S. approval for their COVID-19 vaccine in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine was granted emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2020.
The shares have been under pressure — down more than 12% since the beginning of last week — amid the U.S. plan to temporarily waive patent rights for COVID-19 vaccines in a move to contain the pandemic and boost vaccine production.