By Ludwig Burger and Linda Pasquini
(Reuters) -BioNTech said on Tuesday it expects to return to revenue growth in 2025 when the ongoing decline in its COVID-19 vaccine business would bottom out, and that it would invest to scale up its oncology business thereafter.
The German biotech firm, which works with Pfizer on COVID shots, predicted total revenue of about 3 billion euros ($3.28 billion) for 2024, down from revenue of about 4 billion to 5 billion euros it had targeted for 2023.
“BioNTech expects to grow its topline again in 2025,” it said in a statement.
BioNTech’s German traded shares were down 0.9% at 1235 GMT as the target for this year fell short of an average analyst revenue estimate, provided by LSEG, of between 3.6 billion and 3.8 billion euros.
According to slides of a presentation to be held at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, the company’s forecast for 2025 would be helped by higher prices for shots amid a shift from government-sponsored schemes during the pandemic to commercial market models.
Shots combining the company’s established mRNA technology against COVID with vaccination against other respiratory diseases such as seasonal flu could also be a revenue booster, the slides showed.
Citing at least 10 late-stage cancer drug studies targeted by the end of 2024, BioNTech said it mapped out plans to launch its first oncology drugs from 2026 onwards, renewing a focus on its traditional roots in oncology.
“We continued our vaccine leadership in the fight against COVID-19 and significantly expanded our mid- and late-stage oncology pipeline,” said Ugur Sahin, BioNTech’s CEO and co-founder.
Thanks to about 17.5 billion euros in cash, cash equivalents and security investments at the end of 2023 and amid higher interest rates, it said it would generate “significant interest income” in 2024.
The company, which developed the Western world’s most widely used COVID-19 shot with Pfizer, said it would retain a strong financial position.
BioNTech is scheduled to provide detailed full-year 2024 guidance alongside its 2023 financial results on March 20.
($1 = 0.9141 euros)
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Linda Pasquini; Editing by Rachel More, Matthias Williams and Susan Fenton)