British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Friday that it will start to book a modest profit from its coronavirus vaccine as it moves away from the nonprofit model that it has operated so far during the pandemic.
In a third-quarter update, the company said it is now expecting to progressively transition the vaccine to modest profitability as new orders are received.
It said profits from the vaccine in the fourth quarter will offset costs related to its antibody cocktail developed to prevent and treat COVID-19.
Through the pandemic so far, AstraZeneca said it would provide the vaccine, which was developed by scientists at the University of Oxford, at cost.
It confirmed Friday that it will not be booking any coronavirus vaccine profits from developing countries.
The slight change of tack came as AstraZeneca unveiled plans to set up a separate arm for vaccines and antibody treatments that focus on COVID-19.
In its earnings, the company said revenue jumped by about 50 per cent in the third quarter, largely as a result of sales of more than USD 1 billion in COVID-19 vaccines. Total revenue jumped to USD 9.87 billion for the quarter, with revenue for the year to date up by 32 per cent.
AstraZeneca said the trend is set to continue following eight positive phase three trials, including treatments for liver and prostate cancer.
It also held firm on its earnings guidance for the year.
AstraZeneca's scientific leadership continues to provide strong revenue growth and exceptional pipeline delivery, with eight positive late-stage readouts across seven medicines since June, including our long-acting antibody combination showing promise in both prevention and treatment of COVID-19," Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said.