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BioNTech and Pfizer Boost 2021 Vaccine Target to 2.5B Doses

BioNTech projects sales of close to 10 billion euros from the vaccine this year.
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BioNTech  (BNTX)  will work with its partner Pfizer  (PFE)  to boost the manufacturing capacity of their COVID-19 vaccine to 2.5 billion doses by the end of the year.

Shares of Germany-based BioNTech at last check were 5.1% to $100.77. Pfizer was off 0.5% at $36.43.

Earlier, Pfizer said the two companies would likely produce between 2.3 billion and 2.4 billion doses this year.

BioNTech also projected sales of close to €10 billion, roughly $11.73 billion, from the vaccine this year.

BioNTech said the increase was driven by the improving production, a new facility in Marburg, Germany, regulatory approval for six dose vials, and the expansion of the company's manufacturing and supplier network.

"Additional measures and discussions with potential partners to further expand the manufacturing capacity and network are ongoing," the company said.

The first batches of vaccines manufactured at the Marburg site are expected to be delivered in the second half of April.

BioNTech said more than 200 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered worldwide as of March 23.

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BioNTech and Pfizer have signed orders of 1.4 billion doses for delivery in 2021, the company said, and discussions for additional dose commitments are ongoing.

Separately, BioNTech reported fourth-quarter income of 366.9 million euros, or $430.7 million, compared with a loss of 58.2 million euros, or $68.3 million, a year ago.

Revenue totaled about 345.4 euros million compared with 28 million euros a year ago.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control said the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna  (MRNA)  vaccines were "highly effective" in preventing COVID-19 infections among essential workers, while at the same time warning of "impending doom" from rising cases of the disease.

Earlier this month, researchers found the COVID-19 vaccine had shown a high ability to neutralize coronavirus strains first detected in Brazil, the U.K. and South Africa.

"We will continue to focus on innovating in the COVID-19 field by advancing new formulations and addressing vaccine variants, as well as initiating new trials in additional sub-populations,” Ugur Sahin, BioNTech co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. 

"At the same time, we are accelerating the development of our cancer immunotherapies."

BioNTech projects sales of close to 10 billion euros from the vaccine this year.