Vaccine products in the R&D pipeline have more than tripled since 2005 and annual worldwide sales are on track to reach $40 billion by 2020, according to a recently completed study by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD).
The number of vaccine products in clinical trials worldwide has grown dramatically—ranging from 223 to 298 annually since 2008, up from 77 in 1998, Tufts CSDD said. In addition, worldwide vaccine sales grew at an average annual rate of 11.5% between 2005 and 2014, nearly double the 6% average annual growth rate for total pharmaceutical sales.
“Vaccines have become an important business for many large pharmaceutical companies, and the vaccine market is likely to expand as demand for new vaccines grows,” said Ronald Evens adjunct research professor at Tufts CSDD, Tufts University School of Medicine and Principal Investigator of the study. He noted that that growth is driven by a variety of factors, ranging from efforts to reduce health care spending to increasing demand for new vaccines to treat and potentially cure cancer worldwide.
As an indicator of the growing strength of vaccine sales, Evens said five vaccine products in 2014 posted blockbuster sales of $1 billion or more. That compares to 122 drug and biotechnology product blockbusters in 2014.
Other findings include the following:
Evens said that while vaccine developers, like makers of other pharmaceutical products, need to shorten development times, increase success rates and contain R&D costs, they also must deal with pockets of public resistance to vaccination in industrialized countries, often based on irrational fears of vaccination side effects.