Globally, the meningococcal vaccines market was worth USD 1.5 billion as of 2012. It is projected to touch USD 3.7 billion by 2019. With a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) 14.9% between 2013 and 2019, this market is poised to witness strong growth. This article provides an overview of the disease before going on to discuss the reasons for a higher demand for meningococcal vaccines.
Meningococcal disease is a rare, but serious infection caused by the Neisseria meningitides bacterium. The occurrence of this disease varies seasonally and is sporadic across the world. This disease forms a proportion of infections caused by endemic bacterial meningitis. This disease not only spreads rapidly, but can prove fatal within 24 hours of the onset of its symptoms. The timely diagnosis of this disease is often marred as it is misinterpreted as common flu.
Meningococcal disease can be caused by five serogroups of the several known. These five are: serogroups A, B, C, Y, as well as W-135. N. meningitides, the causative agent, commonly occurs in the human nasopharynx. It is transmitted via various methods such as – droplet inhalation (in crowded conditions, exposure to smokers, inherited immune system disorders, functional and/or anatomical asplenia, or via oral contact. The Euroepan Federation of Pharmaceuticals Industries and Association says that meningitis affects approximately 5 lakh people annually across the globe. It is most commonly seen in infants and young adults given their weaker immune system.
Segmentation of the meningococcal vaccines market
On the global meningococcal vaccines market can be broadly segmented based on:
- Types such as conjugate, combination and polysaccharide vaccines
- Vaccine name brands available in the market
- Vaccines that are currently at the development stage, and are anticipated to be available commercially until 2019
It is expected that until 2019, the overall meningococcal vaccines market, in terms of revenue, will be led by the conjugate vaccines segment. This segment is likely to see a CAGR of 12.9% as it will reach USD 2.5 billion by 2019. In the pipeline vaccines segment, Bexsero, developed by Novartis, will growth the fastest – showing a 24.7% growth between 2013 and 2019. The United Kingdom Department of Health has incorporated Bexsero in its national immunization program. This makes it the first serogroup B vaccine to be included in the country’s national immunization efforts. It is anticipated to be available for sale in the second half of 2014.
Another vaccine, MnB rLP2086 being developed by Pfizer, is undergoing phase III of clinical trials. It received the ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2014. NnVac-4DT is yet another meningococcal vaccine that’s expected to hit the market soon.
The meningococcal vaccine industry: A geographical overview
In 2012, America was seen to be the largest market for meningococcal vaccines given the research initiatives taken by manufacturers here, and the presence
of larger immunization programs and government interventions. The United States’ National Meningitis Association states that of all meningococcal disease cases reported, 20% are observed among teens and young adults (those between the age 14 years and 24 years). The number of people contracting meningitis in the United States alone is estimated to be between 1,000 and 2,600 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The market has an unmet demand for licensed meningococcal vaccines against serogroup B. Vaccines for the other four serogroups are available in the U.S. Bexsero’s chances of receiving approval in the United States are very high as it was used successfully used to combat meningococcal disease during the 2013 outbreaks in the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Princeton University.
After the U.S. it is the Rest of the World region (comprising Latin American, African, and Middle Eastern countries) which leads in the market for meningococcal vaccine. This region is known for the high prevalence of the disease, fanning demand for the vaccine as well. The lowest CAGR is observed in Europe – this is attributable to the rise of free sales of this vaccine (particularly meningococcal C vaccine).
However, it is the Asia-Pacific market that will report the highest growth in the meningococcal vaccines market by 2019, with CAGR projections touching 17.1%. The low manufacturing costs here and the increasing transfer of novel vaccine manufacturing technologies from the developed to emerging nations will aid the region’s growth.
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