Here's Five Vaccines to Keep Your Eye on


On a dollar-for-dollar basis, vaccines have probably had a greater positive effect on global health than any other medical advancement, except possibly antibiotics. Yet as a whole, it’s an area that pharma companies tend not to spend a lot of resources on. Partly that’s because the profit margins are not high, although they’re medications that keep giving, year after year. But there are still many companies that work in this area. Here’s a look at five promising vaccines.

#1. Novavax’s influenza and RSV vaccine. Nasdaq cites the promise of the company’s combination vaccine, which is still in preclinical testing. So it’s a long way out.  EvaluatePharma projected the vaccine could create sales of $1.82 billion in 2024.

Much closer is the company’s RSV F Vaccine. In May, Novavax, located in Gaithersburg, Md., reported a significant milestone in its Prepare Phase III clinical trial of its respiratory syncytial virus F protein recombinant nanoparticle vaccine (RSV F Vaccine). This RSV F vaccine is for infants via maternal immunization, and has 4,600 participants in the trial. The trial is evaluating the vaccine in healthy, third-trimester pregnant women. The primary objective is to determine the efficacy of the maternal immunization compared to medically significant RSV-positive lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) in infants. In short, by vaccinating the pregnant women, they hope to convey resistance to RSV in the babies.

RSV is the most common cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and young children worldwide. It affects about 64 million children annually worldwide, and has mortality rates of about 160,000.

#2. Emergent BioSolutions’ NuThrax vaccine. This is a vaccine for anthrax, which is a combination of the company’s current vaccine, BioThrax, with CPG 7909, which stimulates the body’s immune system. BioThrax is the only anthrax vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Generally, in the U.S., anthrax vaccines are only given to military personnel. EvaluatePharma projects the vaccine could bring in $1.1 billion in 2024.

The company announced this month that it is acquiring specialty vaccines company PaxVax for $270 million. As part of the acquisition, it will pick up two FDA-licensed vaccines against cholera and typhoid fever, a pipeline for an adenovirus 4/7 vaccine, and an expanded worldwide sales force.

#3. Merck & Co.’s Pneumococcal vaccine. The big daddy of pneumococcal vaccines is Pfizer’s Prevnar 13, which is the best-selling vaccine in the world at this time. EvaluatePharma projects Merck’s V114 pneumococcal conjugate vaccine could create sales of $774 million in 2024. At the moment it is being evaluated in two Phase III clinical trials. In April, Merck announced the launch of the two Phase III trials. The decision to move into Phase III was based on positive data from Phase I and II trials.

#4. Novavax’s ResVax RSV vaccine. This was actually described in detail in #1. EvaluatePharma projects it could rake in $668 million in 2024. If all goes well, it could file for regulatory approval in 2020.

#5. Inovio’s VGXZ-3100 for HPV. Inovio Pharmaceuticals’ VGX-3100 is a vaccine to treat cervical dysplasia caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). On August 6, the company announced it was partnering with the AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC) to evaluate VGX-3100 for treating HPV-associated precancerous conditions in HIV-positive adult men and women. This will be a Phase II clinical trial.

EvaluatePharma projects it could bring in sales of $622 million in 2024 if approved. Otherwise, the vaccine is in a Phase III trial, and last week the company indicated it is continuing enrollment on schedule after an FDA clinical hold in 2016. The trial will take place at 70 sites in 16 countries.

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