GlaxoSmithKline and Merck are slashing the prices of their HPV vaccinations in a deal with the GAVI Alliance, which delivers immunizations to the developing world.
Social issues have held back uptake of GlaxoSmithKline and Merck human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines in the U.S., but globally the problem is more fundamental--the shots cost too much. It is these low-income countries--where 85% of cervical cancer cases occur--that need the vaccines most though.
Pfizer catapulted itself into the vaccine big leagues in 2009 by merging with Wyeth, and continued demand for Prevnar 13 has seen it consolidate its position. Analysts predict its sales could dwarf other vaccines--hitting $6.7 billion in 2018--but recent quarters suggest it will be a bumpy ride.
New research suggests that two doses of human papillomavirus vaccine could be as effective as the current three-dose regimen, which would increase uptake.
The company plans to spend the capital on advancing a pipeline of vaccines, including a Phase II trial for a candidate called ProCervix for patients with high-risk cases of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
Public health experts are worried about the latest numbers on HPV vaccine uptake. After all, the shots can prevent cervical cancer, and that's no small thing. so, with a majority of girls eschewing the shots, government officials and others are trying to figure out how to turn the tide.
Convincing patients of the merits of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines has proved a tricky task for Merck ($MRK) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK).
On Feb. 15, Australian boys began receiving Gardasil as part of a $21 million program geared toward vaccinating 12- and 13-year-olds.
Vaccine-makers Merck and GlaxoSmithKline could boost revenue brought in by their HPV vaccines--Gardasil and Cervarix--if more boys received the shot regimen. A Boston University School of Medicine study shows more parents and guardians saw benefits than drawbacks to vaccinating boys.
The GAVI Alliance wants to vaccinate more than 180,000 girls in 8 countries--from Ghana to Laos--against cancers caused by human papillomavirus.