AstraZeneca vaccine turns profitable

AstraZeneca has long said it will not make a profit on its cheap and easy-to-use COVID vaccine during the pandemic.

There were some signs that might be changing on Friday (November 12).

The vaccine made a small contribution to earnings in the drugmaker's third quarter.

The Anglo-Swedish company now projects the shot will move to 'modest profitability' on new orders.

AstraZeneca said that would make up for other costs related to developing COVID treatments.

Sales of a Covid vaccine have proven highly profitable for rival Pfizer.

The U.S. drugmaker forecast sales of at least $65 billion overall for 2021 and 2022.

AstraZeneca's total product sales jumped 47% to almost $10 billion during the three months to September.

Sales of the vaccine reached just over $1 billion during that time.

The acquisition of rare-disease specialist Alexion also boosted AstraZeneca's sales.

The company did see lower-than-expected growth in some of its core treatments for cancer, rare-diseases and heart conditions.

But sales of asthma drug Symbicort were up 13% to $676 million.

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