AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine sales were $275 million in the first quarter and it is on track to deliver 200 million doses a month from April, as better-than-expected results and a second-half growth forecast boosted its shares.
Chief Executive Pascal Soriot again defended the vaccine rollout on Friday, saying that Anglo-Swedish drugmaker had not overpromised on its ability to supply shots, as he defended big cuts in deliveries that prompted a European Union lawsuit.
AstraZeneca, which has said it will not make a profit from the shot during the pandemic, was reporting financial details of distribution and sales of the vaccine it developed with Oxford University for the first time.
It said the revenue included delivery of about 68 million doses, adding that European sales were $224 million, emerging markets $43 million and $8 million in the rest of the world.
Sales of $275 million for 68 million doses equates to a price tag of around $4 per shot.
AstraZeneca was one of the leaders in the global race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Its cheap and easily transportable shot was hailed as a milestone in the fight against the crisis, but has since faced a series of setbacks.
“Shipments (of COVID-19 vaccines) are increasing as manufacturing improves,” Soriot said during a briefing, adding that it was on track to deliver 200 million doses a month.
“We never overpromised, we communicated what we thought we would achieve at the time,” he said.