Pfizer's U.S. Prevnar 13 sales jump 87% in Q2

The world's biggest vaccine by sales--Prevnar 13--just keeps getting bigger. And in doing so, the shot helped Pfizer (PFE) notch 44% vaccines growth for the second quarter as the unit saw sales grow from $1.09 billion in last year's Q2 to $1.58 billion during the period this year.

For the quarter, the superstar pneumococcal disease-blocker notched a U.S. sales increase of 87% versus the same period last year, a jump Pfizer CEO Ian Read attributed to "continued strong uptake" in U.S. adults. Last August, the vaccine received a favorable CDC committee recommendation for universal use in the 65-and-over age range.

Right now, adults in that range are catching up on the recommendation, but that's not Prevnar's only growth driver, Pfizer's Albert Bourla explained on the earnings call Tuesday. Bourla, Pfizer's president of vaccines, oncology and consumer healthcare, said the catch-up population will last into 2016 and possibly 2017, but that an additional 4 million people annually will reach age 65. The company is also working "country by country" to broaden the vaccine's reach in G7 countries, he said.

Pfizer's Albert Bourla

"And there, of course, you have a huge cohort of probably substantially larger than the U.S., probably twice the size of the U.S. And that's going to take market development," Bourla said.

Prevnar 13, which reeled in $4.29 billion in sales last year, is expected to grow to $5.83 billion in 2020 and remain atop the vaccines sales charts.

The unit's positive numbers come amid a vaccines push for Pfizer, which last week announced a "comprehensive" approach to the field and plans to dedicate research to a range of conditions from birth until old age. In a briefing with reporters, company execs outlined an upcoming cancer vaccine program, a maternal human cytomegalovirus vaccine candidate and two Phase II vaccines to address healthcare infections--one against S. aureus and one against C. difficile.

The moves are all part of an effort to diversify the vaccines unit beyond Prevnar, but it hasn't all been internal development. Pfizer has completed three M&A moves in about a year, bringing it Baxter's ($BAX) marketed vaccines portfolio for $635 million, two GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) meningitis vaccines for $130 million and Switzerland's Redvax for an undisclosed sum.

- here's the release
- and the call transcript from Seeking Alpha

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