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Top 10 Global Pharmaceutical Productivity in 2021



Recently, Fierce Pharma ranked the world's most productive biopharmaceutical companies and screened out the top ten biopharmaceutical companies. Let's take a look.

1 BioNTech

2021 Employees: 3082

2021 revenue: €18.98 billion ($22.45 billion)

2021 per capita income: $7.28 million

2020 per capita income: about $246,000

Instead of flying solo with its mRNA-based Covid-19 vaccine like rival Moderna, BioNTech has partnered with companies like Regeneron on vaccine research and has set its sights on mRNA projects as well as other businesses such as cell therapies.

Currently, BioNTech is adding employees, expanding manufacturing and developing mRNA production projects in places such as Africa.

At the end of 2021, the company had 3,082 employees worldwide, an increase of about 1,000 employees from 2020, when BioNTech had 1,941 employees.

As one of the largest mRNA vaccine factories in the world, the Marburg plant will add about 250 jobs in 2022, and the plant currently has about 500 employees. In addition, BioNTech plans to invest around 50 million euros ($56.5 million) and expand the workspace.

The company also reportedly plans to develop other approved mRNA vaccines there, such as the flu and shingles vaccines developed in partnership with Pfizer.

2 Modern

2021 Employees: 2700

2021 revenue: $18.47 billion

2021 per capita income: $6.84 million

2020 per capita income: about $618,000

Moderna's goal is to build an mRNA empire of its own, and it's growing its headcount and expanding its commercial boundaries to make it happen.

Unlike BioNTech, Moderna did not collaborate, but charted its own path to market. Two years later, Spikevax, valued at more than $18 billion, made Moderna a household name.

In 2019, Moderna had approximately 820 employees. In 2020, Moderna increased its headcount to 1,300 people before doubling its headcount in 2021 as the company advances its vaccine ambitions. By the end of last year, the company had 2,700 employees.

Comparing Moderna's headcount to its 2021 revenue of $18.47 billion, each employee brings in about $6.84 million -- all thanks to the company's mRNA Covid-19 vaccine, Spikevax.

Moderna in February outlined plans to open four new subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. The company said the move was to expand Moderna's presence in "overall" sales.

Moderna is then also developing operations in Europe, with the next operations in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

3 Gilead Sciences

2021 Employees: 14,000

2021 revenue: $27.31 billion

2021 per capita income: $1.95 million

2020 per capita income: $1.82 million

In 2021, Gilead's development will mainly focus on the new crown drug Veklury. The drug had sales of $5.6 billion last year, a 98% increase from 2020. Thanks to this, Gilead's total revenue rose 11% last year to $27.3 billion.

At the end of 2021, the company employed 14,000 people, giving Gilead a per capita income of $1.95 million last year, up 7% from $1.82 million in 2020.

The company is working to develop oncology products, including breast cancer drug Trodelvy and cell therapies Yescarta and Tecartus. Gilead also has 20 oncology drugs in development and 30 clinical trials in progress. Oncology products will be the focus of Gilead's research and development, and by 2030, one-third of its revenue will come from this, and in 2021, oncology products will account for less than 7% of its total sales.

In April 2022, the company cut 114 jobs as it prepares to move factories. At the same time, the company acquired 27 acres of undeveloped land near its existing factory in Oceanside, California, to boost manufacturing in the area.

Gilead will also work to increase the diversity of its workforce and has pledged to hire or promote 200 black Americans without four-year degrees and increase the Hispanic share of its U.S. workforce to 15 percent, while also increasing the number of Hispanics in its leadership. of women increased to 39%.

4 Regeneron

2021 Employees: 10,368

2021 revenue: $16.07 billion

2021 per capita income: $1.55 million

2020 per capita income: $930,000

By 2021, Regeneron already has one of the most productive workforces in biopharma. This is thanks to the development of blockbuster drug Eylea for macular degeneration and Dupixent for eczema and asthma.

When the new crown became a pandemic, Regeneron responded quickly with the launch of the COVID-19 antibody cocktail therapy "REGEN-COV". The therapy received FDA Emergency Use Authorization in November 2020, and in 2021, REGEN-COV sales will be $7,573.9 million. That brings Regeneron's full-year 2021 total revenue to $16.1 billion, compared with just $8.5 billion in 2020.

Meanwhile, Eylea's global sales rose from $7.9 billion in 2020 to $9.4 billion in 2021, while Dupixent's sales rose from $4 billion in 2020 to $6.2 billion.

While the company has successfully commercialized its therapies in the U.S., it has left those responsibilities outside the U.S. to larger companies. Outside the U.S., Regeneron has partnered with Bayer on Eylea, with Roche on REGEN-COV, and has a global collaboration with Sanofi on Dupixent.

The company added 1,245 jobs in 2021, from 9,123 employees at the end of 2020 to 10,368 at the end of 2021. Because of the company's strong performance this year, Regeneron said it spent a lot of money on top talent, adding about 200 positions with Ph.D. or MD degrees, bringing Regeneron's total headcount to more than 1,200.

Sales of REGEN-COV have come to a screeching halt due to the failure of REGEN-COV for the Omicron variant. In 2022, Regeneron's per capita income is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels.

5 Bristol Myers Squibb

2021 Employees: 32,200

2021 revenue: $46.39 billion

2021 per capita income: $1.44 million

2020 per capita income: $1.41 million

According to data from 2016, when BMS ranked seventh, it later acquired celgene, which ranked second that year, for $74 billion. By integrating Celgene, BMS expects to save $3 billion annually by 2022.

Part of the cost savings for BMS also comes from layoffs. In 2018, the combined workforce of BMS and Celgene was 32,150, and by the end of 2019, the combined BMS had reduced to 30,000 employees. In 2021, BMS' total workforce will reach 32,200, an increase of 6.4%. Meanwhile, the company's 2021 revenue will reach $46.39 billion, up 9.1% year-over-year, thanks to contributions from three blockbuster drugs, Revlimid, Eliquis, and Opdivo.

While revenue grew, BMS scaled back some production. Last year, the company sold its capsule and tablet manufacturing plant in Switzerland to STA, a subsidiary of WuXi AppTec.

Meanwhile, with the FDA approval of the CAR-T therapies Breyanzi and Abecma in 2021, BMS is starting to expand its cell therapy production capacity. Last November, BMS officially opened a new cell therapy facility in Devens, Massachusetts, with 150 new employees and plans to add several hundred more jobs. The company is also building a new facility in Leiden, the Netherlands, expected to open by the end of 2024 and provide "hundreds" of new jobs.

6 Biogen

2021 Employees: 9610

2021 revenue: $10.98 billion

2021 per capita income: $1.14 million

2020 per capita income: $1.48 million

As Biogen hired more people last year, its revenue fell, which isn't a winning recipe for a higher productivity ranking. Still, as a relatively small pharmaceutical company, it ranks among the 10 most productive biopharmaceutical companies.

In 2021, Biogen's productivity fell by 23%, with per capita income of $1.14 million. In the 2016 list, Biogen had a total of 7,400 employees, ranking third with a per capita income of $1.55 million. Biogen had 9,610 employees at the end of 2021, up 6% from 2020.

Meanwhile, Biogen's revenue in 2021 is $10.98 billion, down 18% year over year. Tecfidera sales fell by nearly half to $1.95 billion as U.S. generics took a toll on Biogen's once-best-selling drug. New spinal muscular atrophy drug Spinraza, previously Biogen's No. 2 best-selling product, also saw sales slump last year due to competition from Novartis and Roche.

Biogen also plans to cut jobs, saving $1 billion in annual costs. The exact number of layoffs is unclear, but Biogen is reportedly cutting more than 1,000 positions.

7 AbbVie

2021 employees: 50,000

2021 revenue: $56.2 billion

2021 per capita income: $1.12 million

2020 per capita income: $970,000

While many of the pharma companies in this report employ fewer people by Big Pharma standards, AbbVie's total headcount ranks only behind U.S. vaccine-making giant Pfizer in this ranking. AbbVie employed about 50,000 people at the end of January, up slightly from 47,000 in January 2021.

AbbVie, the global pharma giant, had $56.2 billion in revenue last year, up 22% from 2020, with $20.7 billion coming from its immunology blockbuster Humira, which accounted for 37% of AbbVie's total sales. While many of AbbVie's peers saw revenue growth from Covid-19 treatments last year, AbbVie's growth came from its core products, which had the fourth-highest sales among big drugmakers last year.

But it remains to be seen how AbbVie's financials will change as Humira faces significant generic pressure in 2023. Amgen plans to launch Humira biosimilars in January 2023, and several other companies plan to launch generics in batches next year.

Among AbbVie's other product portfolio, revenue from cancer drug Imbruvica rose 2% to $5.4 billion, while revenue from new immunology products Skyrizi and Rinvoq, which AbbVie expects to grow by 2025 Total immunotherapy sales will reach $15 billion.

AbbVie said the median compensation last year was $149,662. The company's CEO-to-employee pay ratio is 160:1 since Chief Executive Richard Gonzalez was paid more than $23.9 million.

8 Amgen

2021 Employees: 24,200

2021 revenue: $25.98 billion

2021 per capita income: $1.07 million

2020 per capita income: $1.05 million

While Amgen missed its 2021 revenue target, the company has been busy lately with cancer R&D, layoffs, manufacturing investments and more. In 2021, Amgen's global sales will reach $25.98 billion. The company's 2021 per capita revenue of $1.07 million is more than most companies in the industry.

Although Amgen made the most of its acquisition of Otezla and developed its cancer-fighting product Lumakras, the company only added about 100 employees last year. Meanwhile, Amgen's U.S. sales team took a hit last February as the company cut about 500 jobs.

But for Amgen, cost cutting was not the only goal last year. The company invested $365 million in a smart facility in New Albany, Ohio, in June 2021, and the 270,000-square-foot facility will employ 400 people when it opens in 2024. It will be Amgen's "state-of-the-art digital facility." Two months later, Amgen pledged to spend $550 million to build a production site in North Carolina.

Amgen plans to launch a generic version of Humira in January. In addition, last year Amgen won FDA approval for Lumakras as the first treatment for KRAS G12C-mutated non-small cell lung cancer. The approval is a huge victory because the mutation was once thought to be incurable.

9 Pfizer

2021 Employees: 79,000

2021 revenue: $81.29 billion

2021 per capita income: $1.03 million

2020 earnings per employee: $540,000

During the pandemic, Pfizer has achieved impressive results, reducing its workforce by nearly 10,000 people and increasing revenue by nearly 100%. Benefiting from sales of the new crown vaccine, Pfizer's revenue increased from $40.9 billion in 2019 to $81.3 billion in 2021.

Meanwhile, Pfizer reduced its headcount from 88,300 to 79,000, largely due to the company's spin-off of its generics unit, Upjohn, in the fourth quarter of 2020. In September 2019, Upjohn had 2,377 employees, according to SEC filings.

Even as Pfizer's revenue nearly doubled, it kept headcount under control, ending 2021 with only about 500 more employees than it had at the beginning of the year.

Growth-focused big pharma companies like Pfizer have been experts at preventing bloat. In 2009, the company entered into a major $68 billion merger with Wyeth, and the combined companies had 81,800 and 47,426 employees at the end of 2008, respectively. A year later, Pfizer slashed the combined workforce of both companies to 116,500, and by the end of 2013, the company had slashed its workforce to 77,700.

In addition to layoffs, the divestiture of the generics division has helped Pfizer keep its workforce relatively stable as the company acquires more promising businesses through acquisitions. In 2015, when Pfizer bought Hospira, the world's largest supplier of injectable drugs, the company's workforce ballooned to 97,900.

Pfizer remains the largest company on the list of the top 10 most productive biopharmaceutical companies in 2021 so far, followed by AbbVie with 50,000 employees and Eli Lilly with 35,000 employees.

Last year, while Pfizer's revenue increased by nearly $40 billion, its cost of sales soared to $30.8 billion from $8.7 billion, and research and development expenses rose to $13.8 billion from $9.4 billion. But the company said in the report that those increases were not related to the added manpower. 50% gross profit sharing fee with BioNTech and royalties due to the impact of the Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty led to a rapid increase in cost of sales.

In 2022, Pfizer's per capita income is expected to increase significantly. The company's revenue for the first half of 2022 was $54.3 billion, with combined sales of Comirnaty and oral anti-coronavirus drug Paxlovid exceeding $31 billion.

10 Eli Lilly

2021 Employees: 35,000

2021 revenue: $28.32 billion

2021 per capita income: $810,000

2020 revenue per employee: $701,000

Eli Lilly has been paying off over the past few years as it struggles to refresh its marketed drug portfolio, replacing sales of older drugs with new ones.

Eli Lilly will have 35,000 employees by the end of 2021. Additionally, Eli Lilly had global sales of $28.3 billion last year, ranking it 12th among all biopharmaceutical companies.

The company has undergone a lot of changes over the past few years. In early 2017, shortly after CEO David Ricks took the helm, the company launched a massive cost-cutting drive aimed at saving $1.2 billion a year. As a result, Eli Lilly laid off about 3,500 people, many of whom received higher retirement benefits.

At the end of 2016, Eli Lilly employed nearly 42,000 people. The company's latest headcount is now about 35,000, and it has actually laid off about 7,000 workers over the years. Meanwhile, Eli Lilly's revenue has grown during this time, significantly boosting per capita income. In 2016, the company's per capita income was about $505,000.

The company has been ramping up research and development efforts for new drugs over the years. As early as 2016, Lilly reportedly relied on older drugs for 86% of its sales.

Today, the situation is completely different. In the second quarter of this year, Eli Lilly reported that its newly launched products accounted for 67% of its total sales, excluding COVID-19 antibody revenue. Eli Lilly's new products include type 2 diabetes drug Trulicity, breast cancer drug Verzenio, immunology blockbuster Taltz, and migraine prevention drug Emgality.

The company's Covid-19 neutralizing antibodies also played a big role last year, with sales of $2.24 billion, or about 8% of total sales.

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