Report: Takeda's dengue jab will be nipping at Sanofi's heels by 2020

The dengue vaccine market may not exist yet, but once it does, it's in for a big growth spurt within the next 6 years, a recent report says. And while market watchers expect Sanofi's ($SNY) candidate to lead the pack, by the time 2020 rolls around, Takeda could be right behind it in the battle for market share.

According to research and consulting firm GlobalData, the dengue vaccine market is in for a $330 million swell across 5 major markets--Brazil, India, Mexico, Singapore and Thailand--between 2015 and 2020. Powering that jump will be Sanofi's CYD-TDC and Takeda's DENVax, with projected 2020 sales of $166 million and $148 million, respectively.

Despite Sanofi's expected first-to-market advantage--GD analyst Christopher Pace expects regulatory approval for DENVax in late 2016, about a year after the projected rollout of Sanofi's jab--Takeda could be hot on the French drugmaker's trail by 2020, boasting 37% market share compared with Sanofi's 42%, he told FierceVaccines.

GlobalData analyst Christopher Pace

That, he said, will come as a result of its more convenient dosing schedule and competitive pricing strategy. DENVax is administered as two injections given over 90 days, while Sanofi Pasteur's CYD-TDV is administered as three injections over 12 months. And according to Pace, that represents a "key advantage" that Takeda can leverage.

"This will particularly be the case in countries where dengue is endemic and the logistical challenges surrounding mass immunization programs favor the use of a two-dose vaccine," he said.

And GD expects Takeda, which picked up DENVax in last year's buyout of Inviragen, to price its more convenient series similar to Sanofi's--an approach that weill help the Japanese drugmaker maximize revenues, he said.

As for further-off candidates from Merck ($MRK) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), they'll struggle to carve out their piece of the pie after launch, GD says. For one, they'll have to play catch-up to wrestle market share away from their predecessors. But more importantly, key opinion leaders "overwhelmingly" view Merck's subunit vaccine and GSK's inactivated virus vaccine as "inferior" to live-attenuated vaccines like CYD-TDV and DENVax, citing their need for adjuvants to achieve a comparable immune response as a key weakness, Pace said.

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