AstraZeneca vaccine sales jump to $894m, submission for US approval delayed

Vials of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen during an organised media visit to the vaccination at Taoyuan Hospital in Taoyuan, Taiwan Apr 12, 2021. REUTERS
AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine sales more than tripled to $894 million in the second quarter from the previous three months, and the drugmaker updated its 2021 forecasts on Thursday to include sales from its Alexion unit.

The Anglo-Swedish company has also delayed its application to US authorities for approval of the vaccine to the second half of this year. Previously, AstraZeneca was hoping to file it within the first half.

The vaccine, invented by Oxford University and hailed a milestone in the fight against the pandemic, has faced several setbacks, including production delays and possible links to some rare, but severe side-effects that are being probed by regulators.

The company, which has said it will not make a profit from the shot during the pandemic, updated its financial guidance to include the recent closing of its deal to buy rare medicines business Alexion.

It now expects total revenue to increase by a low-twenties percentage this year, and core earnings of $5.05 per share to $5.40 per share. The forecast does not includes sales from the vaccine.

Total revenue rose 25% to $8.22 billion for the three months to June on a constant-currency basis, while core earnings came in at 90 cents per share, compared with analysts' consensus forecasts of 92 cents on sales of $7.58 billion.