Insights

Pfizer tops the Innovation Index in 2022

Written by Staff — 2022-04-21.

“Pfizer executives have publicly stated how much they focused on their processes for this stuff in the last four years, so it's not even like they had a blank sheet of paper and just decided to do this in 2020. The structures were in place before then.” ​

The firm’s ability to leverage remote monitoring technologies in COVID-19 trials over the past several years is also testament to its strategic focus on the kind of innovative investments in fluid data analytics and decentralized clinical studies that can be leveraged in multiple therapeutic categories.​

In addition to those highlights, Pfizer nabbed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for two other, non-COVID infectious disease therapies in 2021: TicoVac, a pioneering vaccine for tick-borne encephalitis in young children, and Prevnar 20, the latest product in Pfizer’s long-standing adult pneumonia vaccine franchise. Pfizer was one of just three companies (alongside Merck & Co and France’s Sanofi) to achieve three novel FDA drug approvals in 2021.

In just a single year, Pfizer and partner BioNTech’s (the latter a new entrant to the PII list as a standalone company) COVID vaccine nearly doubled the drug giant’s revenues, with $36.7 billion of its 2021 revenues, or 45% of its global $81.2 billion in sales, fueled by the vaccine alone. Pfizer is expecting another $32 billion in vaccine sales this year in addition to $22 billion in sales of its COVID-fighting antiviral Paxlovid. For context, AbbVie’s arthritis and psoriasis treatment Humira, the world’s best-selling drug for nearly a decade, managed $20.7 billion in 2021 sales.​

“The reason that Pfizer was in the position that it was in, to do what it did with the COVID vaccine, is the same as the penicillin story,” said Mike Rea, CEO of IDEA Pharma. “We all think of penicillin as petri dish type stuff, but it took a long time to get to the point where it could be scaled and distributed to do something useful with it.”​

That dovetails with the success stories of both Pfizer and Moderna, another firm which placed in the top 20 in both Innovation and Invention. “What Pfizer did this time around to set up their success was, for one, to be in the water when the wave came. They had to deal with BioNTech, which had an investigational flu vaccine which turned out not to be needed. But they could pivot quickly. And that’s an innovative, agile mindset, the ability to interact with a biotech, the ability to scale, to manufacture, to commercialize, to distribute,” said Rea.​

“Pfizer executives have publicly stated how much they focused on their processes for this stuff in the last four years, so it's not even like they had a blank sheet of paper and just decided to do this in 2020. The structures were in place before then.” ​

The firm’s ability to leverage remote monitoring technologies in COVID-19 trials over the past several years is also testament to its strategic focus on the kind of innovative investments in fluid data analytics and decentralized clinical studies that can be leveraged in multiple therapeutic categories.​

In addition to those highlights, Pfizer nabbed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for two other, non-COVID infectious disease therapies in 2021: TicoVac, a pioneering vaccine for tick-borne encephalitis in young children, and Prevnar 20, the latest product in Pfizer’s long-standing adult pneumonia vaccine franchise. Pfizer was one of just three companies (alongside Merck & Co and France’s Sanofi) to achieve three novel FDA drug approvals in 2021. 

Portfolio and pipeline insights and innovation.

You can't develop tomorrow's medicines with yesterday's thinking.

From the blog
See all

A look into the metrics behind the Pharmaceutical Innovation and Invention Index

IDEA Pharma’s Pharmaceutical Invention and Innovation Index has become an industry standard in annually ranking the industry’s top ~30 companies in their ability to develop meaningful novel treatments, as well as commercializing them successfully

Read article
Latest podcast
See all

IDEA Podcast with Mike Rea