Published on 22.03.2024

Pfizer Stock

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Pfizer stock price

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Pfizer's IPO

In 1942, nearly a hundred years after its founding, Pfizer went public to finance the mass production of penicillin. The company's stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) (PFE. ISIN: US7170811035). Pfizer was included in the Dow Jones index starting in 2004 but was unexpectedly removed from it at the end of last year due to too many similarities with its competitor Merck. It was replaced by the biopharmaceutical company Amgen. Pfizer is still listed on the S&P 500 index. Pfizer shares and certificates are also listed on numerous exchanges worldwide.

Strategy and future

Pfizer's goal is to improve the lives of patients as much as possible through product innovations. This aspiration shapes the company culture and its vision for the future: Pfizer continuously aims to remain the most patient-centred pharmaceutical company. It focuses on vaccines, autoimmune diseases, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases and rare disorders. Pfizer builds on its experience with safe and effective biologic drugs to provide patients with access to alternative, less costly medications. Pfizer is also working on producing genetic medicines.

To strengthen its strong position in (bio)pharmaceuticals, Pfizer continues to conduct extensive research, aiming to leverage its experience gained from developing Comirnaty (mRNA-vaccine for Covid-19). Also, the company plans to continue entering partnerships and acquisitions to sustain its growth.

Coronavirus vaccine: Pfizer's major profit maker

Given its history of challenging experimental research, it's not surprising that Pfizer also sought to develop a coronavirus vaccine. The Covid-19 vaccine that Pfizer eventually successfully brought to market, in collaboration with BioNTech, is an mRNA vaccine. The effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is high, with an effect in over 94% of cases. The effectiveness is comparable to that of competitor Moderna and greater than that of AstraZeneca and Janssen.

Pfizer is now using the research results and practical experience with the vaccine for further applications. The pill is the first result. "This pill reduces the chance of hospitalisation, ICU or death of a patient by 89% if taken in time and ensures a mild course of the disease," Pfizer said in a press release.

History of Pfizer

Pfizer started in 1849 as a small chemical company in New York and steadily grew into one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Pfizer has introduced several famous medications. The founders were two cousins, Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart, who had emigrated from Germany and saw unlimited opportunities in the new world. Their first breakthrough came with Santonin, a treatment for parasitic worms. It was such a big success that within ten years, Pfizer could significantly expand its range of chemical and medical preparations, including borax, camphor and iodine. Pfizer made full use of the logistical, technological and medical advancements during the industrialisation in the United States. Citric acid became Pfizer's most popular product. The ingredients, including lemons, were sourced from Italy. This became problematic around 1880 due to political instability. When World War I broke out in 1914, the supply was completely halted, and Pfizer had to search for alternative suppliers. To reduce dependence, in 1917, they hired food technologist James Currie, who could extract citric acid from sugar fermentation. Pfizer began producing large quantities using Currie's process. The fermentation process also turned out to be key to producing penicillin. Pfizer started mass-producing this antibiotic just in time to save the lives of many injured Allied soldiers during World War II.

Until 1950, Pfizer mainly supplied its products to other companies, which then sold them under their own brand names. However, in the late 1940s, Pfizer developed Terramycin®, a new antibiotic that allowed the company to break through under its own name. Pfizer immediately opened offices and subsidiaries worldwide, resulting in a constantly evolving portfolio of innovative products. Pfizer quickly became a powerful international company.

Since 2020, Pfizer has been producing their BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine against the Covid-19 virus developed by the German company BioNTech. Pfizer funds, oversees clinical trials, manufactures the vaccine and manages logistics.

The information in this article is not written for advisory purposes, nor does it intend to recommend any investments. Please be aware that facts may have changed since the article was originally written. Investing involves risks (e.g., price volatility, currency or liquidity risk). You can lose your invested funds. Consider your knowledge and experience when making investment decisions. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results. Markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly due to economic, political, regulatory, or other developments.

Sources: Pfizer, NOS, The Motley Fool, RIVM, CBG

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