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Unlike several life science sectors that felt the impact of the global crisis, the human vaccines market remained resilient to the global economic recession. Irked by weakened pipelines and growing pressure from patent expiries, the big pharma majors such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer found vaccines industry as safe avenue to invest and register guaranteed revenues. Vaccines register a higher profit margin in comparison to generic drugs, but lower than branded ones. Regional players from fast developing vaccine markets, such as India and China, are primarily engaged in meeting demands of public supply for routine and immunization vaccines. Driven by global H1N1 outbreak, Pandemic Influenza Vaccines registered high growth in 2009. The H1N1 pandemic increased sales of vaccine makers, including GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi-pasteur, Novartis, Baxter, and MedImmune.

Human vaccines, earlier considered as a low profit yielding business, have transformed into cash cows for global pharmaceutical giants. Patents for human and animal vaccines accepted by European and US patent authorities totaled nearly 250 in 2007. Prophylactic vaccines represents the biggest earner in human vaccines market. However, therapeutic vaccines market is still untapped. Therapeutic vaccines is projected to grow rapidly over the coming years, subject to the regulatory approvals. Companies, both established and upcoming, are investing a major chunk of research resources into development of therapeutic vaccines capable of fighting diseases such as cancer, AIDS, and other diseases. Encouraging results, such as enhanced stability, production scalability, and immune response have also been reported in the field of DNA-related vaccines. Addiction vaccines are also forecast to witness phenomenal growth.

Product extension, which hitherto was a common practice in the pharma sector, is now finding success in the vaccines industry. Manufacturers are making constant efforts to introduce additional indications of established products to keep up profit margins. For instance, the best selling vaccines, such as Gardasil and Prevnar, are being evaluated for the prevention of other related diseases or infections. Prevnar, a 7-valent vaccine for protection against the seven serogroups, has been evaluated as Prevnar-13 for protection against six more serogroups. In December 2009, Prevnar/Prevenar 13 Infant obtained approval in the EU member states. The vaccine was approved in the US in February 2010. Gardasil, which was approved for the prevention of four strains of HPV (human papillomavirus), is currently being tested for the prevention of nine more strains.

North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are the largest human vaccine markets globally, as stated by the new market research report on Human Vaccines. Product differentiation, high vaccination rates, and launch of innovative vaccines characterize the North American market for human vaccines. With large population base and relatively high teen rates, emerging markets, including China and India, represent the fastest growing markets for human vaccines worldwide. Low immunization rate in Asia-Pacific presents huge untapped market potential for several vaccines. Key factors driving growth for human vaccines in Asia-Pacific include significant unmet medical needs, growing disposable income, increasing funding and government support, and expanding vaccination programs by GAVI and UNICEF.

Global human vaccines market is witnessing fierce competition, with several players foraying into the lucrative vaccine domain. Competition intensified with the entry of several biotech and pharmaceutical companies, which shifted their focus towards vaccines. Pfizer’s acquisition of Wyeth in 2009 exemplifies this trend. The market is inundated with more than 200 to 250 companies operating across the world, developing more than 600 vaccine products. However, the market is highly concentrated with a few vaccine stalwarts commanding the bulk of the market. Despite the stiff competition, the major vaccine manufacturers are having an edge over their smaller counterparts owing to their long-term expertise and regulatory experience in the vaccine field. Further, high entry barriers in the vaccines market prove advantageous to the vaccine giants. Major players profiled in the report include ALK – Abelló A/S, Bavarian Nordic A/S, Crucell N.V., CSL Ltd., GlaxoSmithKline PLC, MedImmune Inc., Merck & Company Inc., Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics Inc., Sanofi-Aventis SA, Vaxin Inc., Wyeth, among others.

The research report titled "Human Vaccines: A Global Strategic Business Report" announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of the human vaccines market, current market trends, key growth drivers, prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines pipeline, pipeline projects of major companies, recent industry activity, and profiles of major/niche global market participants. The report provides annual sales estimates and projections for the global human vaccines (prophylactic) market for the years 2007 through 2015 for the regions, including US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America and Rest of World. Key segments analyzed include Adult Prophylactic Vaccines and Pediatric prophylactic vaccines. Also, a 6-year historic analysis is provided for the years 2001-2006. The report also analyzes the global market for therapeutic vaccines for the period 2010-2015.

Date: January 11, 2011
Source: Global Industry Analysts, Inc. 

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