Will Pfizer's (PFE) New Drugs Provide a Boost to 2024 Sales?

Pfizer PFE has been relying on its newly launched and newly acquired products to improve its sales performance amid a decline in revenues from its COVID-19 products.

Pfizer records direct sales and alliance revenues from its partner, BioNTech BNTX, for the COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty, and product revenues from its oral antiviral pill for COVID, Paxlovid. However, revenues from its COVID products are declining due to a demand slump.

Nonetheless, Pfizer expects better non-COVID operational revenue growth in the future quarters, driven by its key in-line products like Prevnar, Vyndaqel and Eliquis, new launches like Abrysvo, Penbraya and Zavzpret, and newly acquired products like Nurtec as well as those acquired from Seagen. 

The last year was a record year for Pfizer in terms of FDA approvals. It received nine new medicine/vaccine approvals that can drive growth in 2024 and thereafter.

Pfizer’s RSV vaccine, Abrysvo, was approved and launched to help protect older adults, as well as infants, through maternal immunization in the United States as well as the EU in 2023. In October 2023, the FDA approved its once-daily pill called Velsipity (etrasimod) to treat moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis (UC), as well as its pentavalent meningococcal vaccine, Penbraya. In August, the FDA approved Elrexfio (elranatamab), a BCMA-CD3-targeted bispecific antibody for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

In June, the FDA approved Litfulo (ritlecitinib), its JAK3 inhibitor for treating severe alopecia areata and Ngenla, a long-acting once-weekly treatment for pediatric growth hormone deficiency. Litfulo was approved in Europe in September 2023, Elrexfio in December and Velsipity (for UC) in January 2024. The pentavalent meningococcal vaccine is under review in the EU. Ngenla is already approved in the EU and some other countries like Japan. Pfizer’s CGRP receptor antagonist, Zavzpret/zavegepant nasal spray, for the acute treatment of migraine was approved in 2022.

Among the newer drugs, all eyes are on Abrysvo RSV vaccine. Sales of Abrysvo were above management’s expectations in the second half of 2023, driven by strong demand. We expect sales to remain strong in 2024. However, Abrysvo faces strong competition from GSK’s GSK RSV vaccine, Arexvy. This was the first RSV vaccine for older adults to be approved anywhere in the world. GSK’s Arexvy had an exceptional launch and generated £1.2 billion in sales in 2023.

The December 2023 acquisition of Seagen added a class of antibody-drug conjugates or ADCs, Adcetris, Padcev, Tukysa and Tivdak, to Pfizer’s portfolio. These cancer drugs acquired from Seagen will also provide top-line support in 2024.

Sales of newly acquired products, Nurtec ODT/Vydura and Oxbryta, improved sequentially in the last two quarters. We expect the positive trend to continue in 2024. Nurtec ODT/Vydura was added to Pfizer’s portfolio with the acquisition of most of Biohaven in 2022. Oxbryta was added with the October 2022 acquisition of Global Blood Therapeutics.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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