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Pfizer Details How Revenue Growth Will Offset Its Patent Cliff

Drug giant Pfizer released its most detailed plan yet to make up for patent expirations that will mean a $17 billion hit by 2030.

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Amir Hamja/Bloomberg

Pfizer
just laid out its most-detailed-yet explanation as to how the drug giant can still grow revenue in the coming years despite a $17 billion hit by 2030 through patent expirations.

Pfizer stock (ticker: PFE) has traded at a discount to peers for years over concerns about that so-called patent cliff, despite the extraordinary sales bump the company received from its Covid-19 vaccine and antiviral.

Shares trade at 10.5 times earnings expected over the next 12 months, according to FactSet, well below those of peers
Eli Lilly
(LLY), which trades at 40.4 times earnings, and
Johnson & Johnson
(JNJ), which trades at 17.2 times earnings.

In October, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla unveiled a plan to replace the $17 billion in annual revenue expected to erode by the end of the decade, saying that the company will add $25 billion in annual revenue through business development, and another $20 billion through internal pipeline products to be launched in the near term.

On Monday, the company went into detail on where it expects that revenue to come from. Among the highlights: Pfizer expects $10 billion to $15 billion in annual revenue by 2030 from its messenger RNA vaccines, a portfolio that by then could include a flu vaccine, a combination flu and Covid-19 vaccine, and a shingles vaccine.

Pfizer also said that an obesity and Type 2 diabetes drug it has underdevelopment, which is of the same class of drugs as Lilly’s highly-touted Mounjaro, could hit $10 billion or more in annual sales at its peak. While the Pfizer drug would hit the market after alternatives from Lilly and
Novo Nordisk
(NVO), Pfizer’s entry has the advantage of being a pill, while the others are injected.

The presentation seemed, by Tuesday morning, to have begun to shift the Street’s thinking on the company, at least a bit. Pfizer stock is up 3%, and analysts at Goldman Sachs upgraded Pfizer stock to Buy from Neutral on Tuesday, raising their target price to $60 from $47. Pfizer shares had closed at $52.16 on Monday.

In a note out early Tuesday, SVB Securities analyst David Risinger wrote that he expects analysts to increase their long-term pipeline projections for Pfizer, though cautioned that cost estimates could rise, too, following commentary at the presentation from Pfizer Chief Financial Officer David Denton. Risinger rates Pfizer at Market Perform with a $49 price target.

In its presentation, Pfizer said it expects more than $6 billion in peak worldwide sales of the migraine drugs it acquired through its deal with
Biohaven
(BHVN). Pfizer bought Biohaven for $11.6 billion, and then spun off its non-migraine assets as a new company, also called Biohaven.

The company’s respiratory syncytial virus vaccine, which will likely launch next year for both older adults and expectant mothers, and will compete directly with
GSK
‘s (
GSK
) older adults RSV vaccine, will peak at more than $2 billion in annual sales in 2027, the company said.

Pfizer also said that global revenue of its drug Etrasimod as an ulcerative colitis treatment could be $1 billion to $2 billion per year, and its alopecia areata drug ritlecitinib could hit $1 billion per year.

Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at josh.nathan-kazis@barrons.com

Credit: marketwatch.com

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