Friday, April 24, 2009

Vaccines – the new money maker for Pharma!

Long being regarded as an unattractive market, vaccines have re-emerged as successful growth driver for Big Pharma. The launch and rapid uptake of novel, high-price products such as Wyeth's Prevnar or Merck & Co's Gardasil, along with the emergence of novel vaccine technologies and favourable legislation have brought vaccines back into the main focus of pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Following the example set by Merck & Co. last month, Sanofi Aventis has become the latest leading pharmaceutical company to report a boost in vaccine franchise sales for 2007. The French group achieved overall vaccine sales of E2.78 billion, up 14.5% over 2006. These results illustrate the increasing importance of vaccines as growth drivers for Big Pharma players.

Considering the strong performance of its vaccine portfolio, it is not surprising that Sanofi has now stressed its vaccine franchise as a key priority for the future. And the French pharma giant is not the only one: two weeks ago, Merck reported that 2007 sales of its vaccine franchise had increased to $4.3 billion compared with $1.9 billion in 2006, mainly fuelled by Gardasil.

Improving disease awareness, increasingly broad immunization recommendations and tolerance of high prices for new vaccines are key factors for the sector's success. Sanofi's & Merck's strong franchise performances clearly illustrate that vaccines, not long ago mis-perceived and under-appreciated as commodity market with little commercial potential, are emerging as crucial growth drivers for Big Pharma in times that are otherwise marked by empty R&D pipelines, patent expiries and price erosion.

Driven by technological advances, increased awareness and an increasing commercial opportunity, vaccines have re-emerged as a key area of interest for the biopharma industry over the last decade. More recently, vaccine administration has become a central focus of research in order to develop safer, more efficacious and more convenient vaccine formulations.

Datamonitor presents its latest report in the field of Vaccines titled Stakeholder Opinions: Vaccine administration technologies - Beyond needles. This report, based on in-depth secondary research and numerous interviews with both academic and industry stakeholders in the vaccine delivery sector, assesses key strategies, technologies and products for vaccine administration, as well as provide an overview of opportunities and challenges for the sector and a future outlook. This report presents a unique opportunity for discussion of opportunities and challenges for the sector and outlook for the next decade.

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