Company profile: Pfizer
Find out about Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies
Pfizer was founded in 1849 in Brooklyn, New York by Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart.
In 2020 the company reported revenues of $41.9bn, and employed over 78,500 people worldwide.
Pzifer originally produced chemical compounds and its first drug was a palatable antiparasitic medication called santonin.
The drug was successful, but it was the company’s decision to ramp up production of citric acid, an acidity regulator used widely in food, drink and detergents that helped it steal a march on its early rivals.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
In 2020 the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use in a mass global vaccination programme aimed at controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company, which ranks among the world’s top five world’s pharmaceutical companies, earned $3.4bn from its share of the COVID-19 vaccine.
CEO: Albert Bourla
Based in: New York
Best known for: Viagra and the COVID-19 vaccine
Traded on: NYSE
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PFE price history
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Pfizer is listed on the the New York Stock Exchange, and is a component of the S&P 100 and S&P 500.
Pfizer now develops and produces many different vaccines including cancer drugs, heart drugs and diabetes treatments. It also makes medicines for disorders of the endocrine (hormones) and nervous system.
Pfizer is ranked the 77th largest company on the Fortune 500 and 58th on the Forbes Global 2000.
Pfizer has its headquarters in Manhattan, New York, U.S.
What is Pfizer best known for?
In 1989 Pfizer scientists Peter Dunn and Albert Wood created sildenafil. The drug was used to treat high blood pressure and angina, which is a type of chest pain associated with coronary heart disease.
In 1991, sildenafil was patented in the United Kingdom as a heart medication. But trials showed its application for heart disease was limited, however male volunteers in the clinical trials had reported increased erections for several days after taking the drug.
It was patented under the name Viagra in the United States in 1996 and received approval by the Food and Drug Administration in March 1998. The patents for Viagra expired in 2020.
What other drugs does Pfizer produce?
Since the early 1990s Pfizer has also been producing Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride) and in June 2000, Pfizer acquired rival Warner-Lambert for $116bn.
In August 2019, Pfizer merged its consumer health business with that of GlaxoSmithKline, owned 68% by GlaxoSmithKline and 32% by Pfizer.
Pfizer and the COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine
In 2020 Pfizer partnered with German biotechnology company BioNTech to develop BNT162b2, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine produced $154m revenue for the company in 2020.
In May 2021 the company raised its 2021 sales forecast for its coronavirus vaccine by 73%. It is currently developing its COVID-19 vaccine to deal with the South African variant.