Flu Speed Ahead in Vaccines Market
This article was originally published in RPM Report
Large investments by GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis in the US flu vaccine business highlight a rush back into the business. Government subsidies, technical assistance and market creation are making the flu vaccine field an attractive section of the pharma field again. It has been generally viewed for decades as a risky, difficult buisness with very little growth potential. Now the tables have turned.
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Can the vaccine industry ride its effort to protect the public from H1N1 flu virus to an elevated reputation with the public? And will reputation permit the vaccine segmetn to continue to bring out new premium-priced products supported by larger governemnt purchase programs around the world? Those are the type of "halo effect" questions being raised be the financial community in advance of the big swine flu response of 2009-2010.
FDA faces the massive task of facilitaing the development and distribution of H1N1 vaccine in the autumn of 2009, but the agency also has some important pending applications for other vaccines in the same timeframe: Prevnar-13, Cervarix, and Gardasil for boys. Wall Street is not showing much excitement about the upcoming decisions. The applicatins could present some pleasant surprises and positive events for the sponsors.
Two years after shaking up the vaccine field with its big entry-acquisition of Chiron, Novartis AG has identified a make-or-break pair of projects in the meningitis area. The meningitis vaccines will determine whether the Novartis bet on vaccines will turn into a smart long-term diversification or a low-return move into an unfamiliar and unfriendly segment of health care.