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BioNTech Vaccine to Give German Economy Extraordinary Boost


© Bloomberg. Employees in biohazard suits prepare raw materials for messenger RNA (mRNA), the first step of Covid-19 vaccine production, at the BioNTech SE laboratory in Marburg, Germany, on Saturday, March 27, 2021. BioNTech and Pfizer Inc. raised this year’s production target for their Covid-19 vaccine to as many as 2.5 billion doses, with the German biotech’s chief executive predicting a version of the shot that can be stored in refrigerators will be ready within months.

(Bloomberg) — Germany’s economy is on track to receive an extraordinary boost from a single start-up this year after BioNTech SE (NASDAQ:BNTX) raised its forecast for Covid-19 vaccine sales to 15.9 billion euros ($18.6 billion).

The German drugmaker, which has partnered with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), could see revenue contributing about half a percentage point to growth in German gross domestic product, according to Sebastian Dullien, a professor of International Economics at HTW Berlin.

Read more: BioNTech Lifts Covid Vaccine Sales Forecast to $18.7 Billion 

That’s because a large part of the Mainz, Germany-based company’s production is focused in Germany, he says. While some of its revenue might include inputs from abroad, the company’s profit-sharing agreement with Pfizer counts toward German GDP.

“This is quite extraordinary for a start-up,” Dullien said in a post on Twitter after the company released its quarterly report. “There are rare cases where single companies have a macroeconomic relevance.”

The Bundesbank predicts the German economy will expand 3.7% this year.

BioNTech’s largest plant in Marburg, Germany, has a manufacturing capacity of 1 billion doses per year. Some production steps are also done at a Pfizer factory in Belgium and by other manufacturing partners elsewhere in Europe, but Dullien argues this is unlikely to significantly diminish the impact on German GDP as production costs are low compared to revenues.

The Covid vaccine is on track to be one of the best-selling drugs of all time. BioNTech and Pfizer have signed contracts to deliver some 2.2 billion doses of the two-shot vaccine this year and more than 1 billion doses in 2022 and beyond. Pfizer said last month it may generate $33.5 billion in sales this year, which is split between the partners, and BioNTech also gets some revenue from direct sales.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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