Thu 25 March 2021:
Pfizer seeks to expand its vaccines business and become a leader in gene-based technologies beyond its partnership with Germany’s BioNTech through which it delivered the coronavirus shots, Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
Pfizer scientists have gained a decade’s worth of experience in the past year working on the coronavirus vaccine with BioNTech and will develop new shots using messenger RNA (mRNA) technology to target other viruses and pathogens, Bourla said.
“There is a technology that has proven dramatic impact and dramatic potential,” Bourla said, referring to the mRNA. “We are the best positioned company right now to take it to the next step because of our size and our expertise.”
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Burla said the company will increase research and development and will add at least 50 employees to work on mRNA technology.
Pfizer will also harness the new mRNA manufacturing network it assembled in the past year to compete with industry rivals, he added.
“We are now ahead and we plan to maintain the gap,” Bura said of the mRNA coronavirus vaccine market but declined to say which other viruses or pathogens Pfizer will pursue.
A stronger devotion to vaccines could also reduce Pfizer’s reliance on cancer drugs, which now make up about one-quarter of sales and a third of overall product pipeline for the New York-based company.
Pfizer’s vaccine business already includes one of the world’s top-selling shots, the pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13 that accounted for almost $6 billion in sales last year.
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