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Pharmaceutical Companies Developing 270 New Vaccines

The share of biologic-based drugs in the global pharmaceutical market is rising, with more and more products, especially vaccines, emerging from research and development efforts. A driving factor in biologic sector growth is drug company confidence that bigger revenue will be realized from the push to market. As of February 7, 2013, there were 907 biopharmaceuticals in Phase I, II or III development, or under regulatory review, according to a report released by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).1

More specifically, PhRMA reported 271 vaccines in development by biopharmaceutical companies as of September 2013. The potential vaccines include 134 for infectious diseases, 99 for cancer, 15 for allergies and 10 for neurological disorders. Second to monoclonal antibodies, vaccines represented the largest category for biologic-based potential market share.

Many of the vaccines are being developed through genetically modified virus-based biological processes, such as a vaccine to treat melanoma. Most are in active clinical trials and approximately 20 of the vaccines are either in the latest stage of development (Phase III) or under review of the Food and Drug Administration for approval, including a vaccine for Japanese encephalitis, a DNA-based hepatitis B vaccine, quadrivalent influenza vaccines, and a cat allergy vaccine.2

By 2018, global spending on pharmaceuticals could reach $1.3 trillion, representing a 30% jump from the 2013 level at $44 billion. North America continues to contribute the largest portion of medicine spending.

As the overall global pharmaceutical revenue continues to grow, the percentage share of biologics is greatly expanding. Specialty medicines are projected to account for 40% of the total global spending growth through 2018.3

In 2011, the overall market value for biologics reached $157 billion, but this figure is expected to increase to as much as $210 billion in 2016. In fact, seven of the top 10 drugs according to spending will be a biologic-based product within five years. Lower-costing alternatives, called “biosimilars” will remain limited.3

GBI Research also released reports putting a multi-billion dollar price tag, specifically on the global pediatric vaccines market, which is generating larger profits for drug companies as the list of pediatric vaccines recommended by governments around the world continues to grow.

Using database information and analysis, GBI estimated the value of the pediatric vaccine market historically and made predictions for the future, finding that in 2010, the global market for pediatric vaccines reached $14 billion. GBI predicts that the pediatric vaccine market will grow by 11.5% and reach $24.3 billion by 2017.

Market revenue for drug companies will rise due to the introduction of new molecules. Six companies account for 88% of the market share. They include GlaxoSmithKline Plc, Sanofi, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, Pfizer, Novartis AG and Merck & Co. Inc. The report also revealed that 69% of deal making by these companies involved licensing and co-development partnerships.4


1 Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Biologics Research Promises to Bolster Future of Medicine. Press Release. Mar. 11, 2013.
2 Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. More Than 270 Vaccines in Biopharmaceutical Pipeline Offer Hope To Prevent/Treat Wide Array Of Diseases. Press Release. Sept. 13, 2013.
3 IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Spike in Growth in 2014-15 Driven by Innovation Surge and Few Patent Expiries. Press Release. Nov. 20, 2014.
4 GBI Research. Pediatric Vaccines Market to 2017-Strategic Focus on Partnering as Licensing and Co-Development Accounted for 69% of Deal-Making Activity from 2004-2011. Press Release. March 2012.

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