GlaxoSmithKline to pass $10B in 2024 vaccine sales, with Merck, Sanofi and Pfizer rounding out the top 4: report

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Evaluate analysts predict GlaxoSmithKline will generate more than $10 billion in vaccine sales in 2024, followed by Merck, Sanofi and Pfizer. A biotech also enters the top 5 rankings. (Eric Sagonowsky)

Shingrix may not make it on the top five best-selling vaccines list in 2024, but a diversified portfolio will still secure GlaxoSmithKline the lead position in the vaccine industry at that time, followed by Merck &Co., Sanofi, Pfizer and a dark horse biotech, life science commercial intelligence firm Evaluate predicts.

In its new World Preview report, Evaluate projects GSK’s vaccines business will grow 7% CAGR to reach $10.74 billion in 2024, and expects Merck to place second with $9.40 billion. While GSK and Merck land the same positions as in Evaluate’s report released last year through 2022, Sanofi and Pfizer have swapped places. Now, the analysts expect the drugmakers to pull in $8.13 billion and $7.26 billion, respectively, in 2024 vaccine sales.

Sanofi’s strong growth will come from two major products, according to the group. Compared to 2017, Pentacel and flu shot Fluzone will together grow nearly $1.45 billion by 2024, Evaluate predicts, more than double the pair’s $680 million contribution in the firm's last report, which covered the 2016-2022 period. 

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Analysts previously said Merck’s Gardasil franchise has stabilized at around $2.5 billion, but this time around, they predict a $900 million sales jump over the report period “based on continuing positive data showing its efficacy as a preventative treatment for cancers caused by HPV, higher rates of use and course completion amongst females and males.”

With 90% share in 2017, the four Big Pharmas dominate the vaccine market today, but analysts predict the number will drop below 80% by 2024. One big reason? Novavax and its blockbuster-potential RSV-influenza combination vaccine.

Maryland-based Novavax doesn’t have any meaningful revenue today, but Evaluate analysts say it will be able to collect $2.65 billion in 2024. A big chunk, or $1.82 billion, will be coming from the respiratory combo shot currently still in preclinical stages. The vaccine will be so successful that analysts predict it will bump GSK’s shingles star Shingrix and meningococcal B vaccine Bexsero off the 2024 top 5 vaccines-by-revenue list.

That doesn’t mean Shingrix isn’t important for GSK. Approved by the FDA last October, the vaccine is deemed preferential by the CDC over Merck’s Zostavax. For the first quarter of 2018, it generated about $150 million and quickly occupied over 90% of the U.S. market share based on pharmacy data that represent over half of all prescriptions.

RELATED: GSK's Shingrix blows past sales projections, pushing 2018 estimates to $600M

Novavax is currently testing its RSV F vaccine—one component of the biotech's combo shot—as a maternal immunization to protect infants in a 4,600-participant phase 3 study, with an interim analysis expected early 2019. The shot was rolled back to phase 2 in the 60-and-older population after a phase 3 flop in 2016. The company itself has recently set the vaccine’s peak sales at $1.5 billion, while Evaluate analysts figure it will contribute about $668 million to Novavax’s top line in 2024, likely offset by its own combo shot.

Emergent BioSolutions, with $1.12 billion in projected 2024 sales, placed after Novavax in the report. The growth comes thanks to its upgraded anthrax vaccine, NuThrax, on track to launch for emergency use in 2019. The frequent U.S. government supplier already secured contracts worth $1.5 billion to deliver NuThrax to the U.S. stockpile. CSL, Inovio, Bavarian Nordic and Mitsubishi Tanabe rank 7 to 10 in that order on the Evaluate 2024 top vaccines company roster.

RELATED: Novavax details 'pre-commercialization activities,' $1.5B sales target for RSV vaccine

Going forward, competition will likely intensify in some hotly pursued areas. Besides the shingles market, Pfizer is aiming for Bexsero’s market share with its own MenB shot, Trumenba; the New York Big Pharma also recently started its own RSV clinical program. Evaluate sees sales of Pfizer's megablockbuster pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13 flattening out at around $5.7 billion. The analysts predict Merck’s version, V114, will likely take away $774 million in 2024.