GSK's Arexvy to lead new RSV vaccines sales race with Moderna a close 2nd: report

We waited years for working respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines and in 2023, in the space of just a few weeks, we had two come all at once, with another on the horizon and a fresh approval for an RSV prevention med.

But how will the RSV market shake out? Well, the analysts at GlobalData crunched the numbers and forecast that GSK’s Arexvy will be the market leader.

Analysts at the firm see the total RSV market hitting $9 billion by 2029, up from the $1 billion expected this year, and Arexvy is projected to “climb steadily and emerge as a market leader,” the firm said in its latest report.

Over this seven-year forecast, GlobalData reckons GSK’s shot will generate more than a quarter of that total global RSV market, with just over $2.5 billion in sales by 2029. 

Arexvy was the first-ever RSV vaccine to gain an approval, getting a yes from the FDA back in May and swiftly followed with an EU green light, something that will help boost its overall sales trajectory.

Pfizer’s rival RSV vaccine Abrysvo, which is yet to nab European approval, got its FDA approval mere weeks after GSK, but is set to make just $1.7 billion over the same period.

That would put in an unexpected third place, behind an RSV vaccine that isn’t even approved yet: namely, Moderna’s mRNA-1345.

That vaccine, which works differently to GSK and Pfizer’s shots and uses Moderna’s mRNA tech, recently began a rolling submission to the FDA alongside other regulators around the world but is still some months off any potential approval.

Both GSK and Pfizer have approvals for older adults, but Moderna is also gunning for use in younger children, who can also get very ill from RSV, a label that could help boost its launch. The drug is expected to enter the market in 2024 but despite being third, GlobalData see “exponential growth” for its sales, surpassing Abrysvo and nearly matching Arexvy, with revenue hitting $2.4 billion in 2029.

Pfizer is also working on a vaccine to protect babies through maternal immunization, with a decision expected by the FDA on that label soon, though GSK stumbled in trials in this setting.

And coming in fourth is AstraZeneca and Sanofi's Beyfortus, an antibody that grabbed a new U.S. green light in July to prevent lower respiratory tract disease from RSV. GlobalData sees this drug making $1.27 billion.

“With the leading four RSV treatments all indicated prophylactically and eager to establish themselves before the start of the fall season, the RSV market is poised to become a major pharmaceutical battleground over the next seven years,” said Jasper Morley, drugs intelligence analyst at GlobalData, in a release.

“Fierce rivalry is to be expected, and the prospect of additional drug approvals, including geographical and maternal vaccinations, will grant treatments a competitive edge and a favorable position in the market.”