Pfizer Says It May Have Coronavirus Vaccine for Emergency Use in Fall

Pfizer said it might have a coronavirus vaccine for emergency use this fall. “This is a crisis right now, and a solution is desperately needed by all,” the CEO said.
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Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report may have a coronavirus vaccine ready for emergency use in autumn, the New York pharmaceutical giant’s chief executive, Albert Bourla, said Tuesday.

Testing of the medication has begun in Germany and could start in the U.S. next week if health regulators agree to that, Bourla told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.

Results from the study may emerge as soon as May, he said. But Pfizer would still need to complete additional safety testing.

If the vaccine passes through all the testing levels, Pfizer could start distributing it on an emergency basis in the fall and perhaps gain regulators’ clearance for widespread distribution this year, Bourla said. 

“This is a crisis right now, and a solution is desperately needed by all.”

Earlier Tuesday, Pfizer posted stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings and affirmed its full-year profit guidance, as key branded drugs drove gains for its biopharma division.

Adjusted earnings for the quarter totaled 80 cents a share, down 5 cents from the year-earlier period but 7 cents ahead of the Wall Street consensus forecast. 

Revenue fell 8.3% to $12.03 billion but beat analysts' estimates of $11.89 billion.

"Upjohn faced two expected headwinds this quarter - generic competition for Lyrica in the U.S. and the nationwide expansion of the [volume-based procurement] program in China - while continuing to progress toward a successful close of our transaction with Mylan, now expected in the second half of 2020," Bourla said in the first-quarter earnings statement. 

Pfizer also confirmed its 2020 financial guidance, which sees revenue in the region of $40.7 billion to $42.3 billion, and adjusted earnings in the range of $2.25 to $2.35 per share.

At last check, Pfizer shares traded at $38.08, down 0.7%. The stock has outperformed the S&P 500 over the past three months, slipping 5%, compared with an 11% slide for the index.