Pfizer’s chief commercial officer and president of its global biopharmaceuticals business, Angela Hwang, recently appeared in a discussion with Connecticut Bioscience Growth Council executive director Paul Pescatello at The New England Life Science & Biotech Summit.
The event, which was produced by CBIA and Marcum LLP, took place on September 21, 2023, in New Haven, Connecticut.
Hwang talked about how Pfizer evolved from being the "biggest supplier of penicillin during World War II" to being put to the test four decades later with the covid pandemic.
She said she has "to remind myself that every launch and every approval is a miracle."
In Hwang's mind, these 'miracles' include the covid vaccines which were developed in part at Pfizer's largest research and development facility located in Groton, CT.
Pfizer's covid vaccines have been cited in 981,206 adverse event reports, including 24,826 deaths, according to CDC's Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
To put that into perspective, VAERS contains a total of 2,526,994 adverse event reports, including 46,321 deaths, for all vaccine products since 1990. Pfizer's covid vaccines alone account for a surprising 38.8% of all adverse event reports and a whopping 53.6% of all death reports, even though the vaccines have been available for just shy of three years.
Nonetheless, Hwang praised the Groton facility that helped with covid vaccine production.
“Groton is a big legacy site, we’ve been there for a really long time,” Hwang said. She called the site "the pride of Pfizer" and lauded it for being "the place where we do a lot of our interesting formulations".
“Take for example, when it was time to make the COVID vaccine, we couldn’t, as there was not enough supply of lipid nanoparticles in the world," said Hwang. “And of course, Groton, they were the ones who stepped up. And actually Pfizer began to make our own lipid nanoparticles because we couldn’t buy enough of it.”
“In the last several years, we have really ramped up our vaccine portfolio to a scale that we never would have imagined, one that is, world class and world scale,” she said.
Then she promised that Pfizer was working on "combination" vaccines. Just what we need.
“We’re actively working on combination vaccines, like a flu and COVID combo, or even better, a flu, COVID, and an RSV combo,” she said.
“This starts to then take vaccinations and how you think about vaccinations to a whole new level."
"The market is telling us that people want to take multiple vaccines at once as it’s convenient, it’s better for the pharmacies, it’s better for the whole workflow," said Hwang. “I think that these combination vaccines are going to be the next holy grail in vaccinations.”
“What you’re going to see now is the continuous refinement of the COVID vaccine to match the strain of the season,” Hwang said.
“The way you should think about the COVID vaccine from here on is that it’s going to be updated every season."
“You’ll be able to have a match that will be most efficacious, because it’s meant for the season that you’re in because the COVID virus actually is mutating quite rapidly."
Hwang also praised mRNA technology.
“The reason why mRNA is such a great technology for things like flu or things like COVID is because they mutate quickly, and they move quickly,” she said.
“You can also manufacture it very quickly—we can actually make a COVID vaccine in 110 days." How much time this leaves for testing remains unknown.
Hwang made these statements before Pfizer slashed annual earnings guidance, blaming the downward revision entirely on covid-related products.
The company now expects 2023 sales of $58 billion to $61 billion, down from previous guidance of $67 billion to $70 billion.
Full-year adjusted earnings guidance was dramatically cut to a range of $1.45 to $1.65 per share, from a previous $3.25 to $3.45 per share.
Paxlovid sales are now expected to come in $7 billion lower than previously anticipated. Sales of covid vaccine, Comirnaty, are now projected to come in $2 billion lower than previously expected due to lower-than-expected vaccination rates.
Perhaps people are finally waking up to the dangers of covid vaccines.