Expect vaccines market to swell to $40B by 2020: Tufts CSDD

Tufts' Ronald Evens

Two recently-published market analyses paint a picture of a competitive but growing vaccines field through 2020, with the newest report from Tufts University stating the industry is on track to post $40 billion in annual sales in 5 years.

In its industry examination published late last week, the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development found that vaccines in development have more than tripled in the last decade and that vaccines sales grew 11.5% over the same period--nearly twice the 6% average annual growth of pharma sales. In a statement, lead investigator Ronald Evens said growth going forward will be driven by factors such as efforts to reduce healthcare expenses and a growing demand for cancer vaccines. A third report says sales of just cancer vaccines should grow at a compound annual growth rate of 27.24% through 2020.

Evens and colleagues found that more than 150 companies worldwide conducted vaccines clinical trials in 2013--accounting for 28% of all biotechnology products in research--though just 18 had marketed products in the U.S.

The findings follow an analysis released last month by EvaluatePharma stating that the top four vaccines firms by 2020--Merck ($MRK), GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Sanofi ($SNY) and Pfizer ($PFE)--will come within less than one percentage point of each other in total market share with annual vaccines sales ranging between $7.2 billion and $7.5 billion each. Tufts found that total vaccines industry sales for 2014 were $29.6 billion.

Glaxo, for its part, has placed a big bet that the vaccines market will continue to grow. After completing the asset swap with Novartis--sending away its oncology portfolio and purchasing the Swiss pharma's vaccines--it'll focus on lower-margin business that it thinks are on a growth path.

But Glaxo isn't alone in making vaccines an area of focus with recent moves. Through both internal development and M&A, Pfizer has worked to diversify its vaccines business beyond the superstar pneumococcal disease blocker Prevenar. Last week, it announced the enrollment of the first patient in a "pivotal" Phase IIb vaccine for S. aureus in patients undergoing elective spinal fusion surgery, following a year of busy dealmaking in which it picked up Baxter's vaccines stall, Switzerland's Redvax and two meningitis vaccines from Glaxo.

In EvalutePharma's report, Novartis was the only top 10 vaccines company anticipated with a negative growth rate through 2020, a reflection of its vaccines divestiture to GlaxoSmithKline.

- here's the report

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