(Reuters) - Becton Dickinson and Co BDX.N said on Thursday it was on track to make 1 billion syringes in the next 12-18 months to meet demand for COVID-19 vaccination when approved, as the medical device maker reported quarterly revenue below estimates, sending its shares down nearly 9%.
In recent months, Becton has received orders for millions of its syringes and needles from the United States, UK and Canada, as they prepare for their pandemic response, and the pipeline is growing further, the company said.
Becton has received a total order of 470 million syringes and needles, including U.S. order for 190 million units, in anticipation of vaccine programs, Chief Executive Officer Thomas Polen said during a post-earnings call.
The company expects to deliver the majority of these orders by 2021.
Last month, the European Union warned its member states of the risk of shortages of syringes, wipes and protective gear needed for potential mass vaccinations against COVID-19 and urged them to consider joint procurement.
Becton said it was also working to ensure that supply for its routine orders such as for annual flu vaccination programs were not disrupted, amid a surge in demand for syringes for pandemic response.
In July, Becton said the U.S. government planned to invest $42 million to expand the company’s manufacturing capacity for syringes and needles.
The company on Thursday reported a fall in quarterly revenue that missed estimates, as delayed elective procedures during coronavirus-led lockdowns squeezed demand for some of its devices.
Excluding items, the company earned $2.20 per share, beating analysts’ estimates of $2.04 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Sales fell 11.4% to $3.86 billion, compared with the average analyst estimate of $3.94 billion.
Shares of the company were trading at $258.50.
Reporting By Dania Nadeem and Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli
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