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Are Pregnant Women a Big Market for Pfizer and BioNTech's Vaccine?

By Brian Orelli, PhD and Keith Speights - Mar 7, 2021 at 10:38AM

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The opportunity is bigger than it might at first appear.

Pfizer (PFE -1.83%) and BioNTech (BNTX -1.72%) recently started a clinical trial testing their coronavirus vaccine in pregnant women. While this subset of the market would seem to be a minor addition to the vaccine's potential, contributors Brian Orelli and Keith Speights break down the clinical trial's clear benefits for the companies in this video from Motley Fool Live, recorded on Feb. 22.

Brian Orelli: Finally, Pfizer and BioNTech had two interesting news events this week. They're testing the vaccine in pregnant women in a clinical trial, and then they submitted stability data to the FDA so their vaccine can be stored at negative 25 to negative 15 degrees Celsius, that's basically your standard freezer. They showed that it was stable for two weeks at that temperature, so you wouldn't have to have it on dry ice or in the big negative 80 degree freezers. Which one do you think has a bigger impact on sales, the pregnant women or the stability?

Keith Speights: Assuming everything goes well, the ability to vaccinate pregnant women would probably be the bigger financial catalyst there. I was trying to look, I was curious about this, how many women are pregnant at any given time in the U.S., and best data I could find was around 6 million pregnancies in the US. If you did some back-of-the-envelope calculations, 6 million times two doses times say $20 a dose, that's around $240 million potential market in the U.S. Obviously, Pfizer wouldn't get all of that. But that's not an insignificant amount of a market to go after. If you expand our horizons through the entire world, the best data I could find, I'm not sure how reliable this is, but roughly 148 million pregnancies at any given point in time globally, so that's a much larger potential market. Again, Pfizer wouldn't be able to get all of that market. But I think that's a bigger financial opportunity.

I'm not sure what the sales impact might be on the new storage requirement. It's obviously good news for Pfizer, but I don't think it will have any impact this year necessarily because they're already selling all the doses they can make. But maybe going forward, it will give them a slight advantage. I do think they're going to come out with more news probably later this year that will address some of the ultra-cold storage requirements even more effectively. But picking between those two, I would say the ability to vaccinate pregnant women is the bigger deal for Pfizer.

Orelli: Yeah, I would agree, although I think that the storage is probably going to be helpful in competing on the long term with Moderna because I think that it will give the ability to give the shots in pharmacies, which don't necessarily have a negative 80 degree freezer but almost certainly have a regular normal freezer because they're storing other drugs that way. I think that the stability for two weeks there will be enough time with proper planning for pharmacies to be able to give the Pfizer vaccine.
So long-term, I think that probably shouldn't be underestimated on the ability to competing with Moderna having the ability to store in the freezers.

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Stocks Mentioned

BioNTech SE Stock Quote
BioNTech SE
$157.06 (-1.72%) $-2.74
Pfizer Inc. Stock Quote
Pfizer Inc.
$50.40 (-1.83%) $0.94

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