While COVID-19 vaccines set all sorts of industry launch records, another potential megablockbuster vaccine market looms on the horizon. Some of pharma’s top players including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline are expected to be involved.
RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, has long been a top target for vaccine developers. While companies have suffered high-profile trial failures over the years, vaccines are now advancing through late-stage testing and could launch in 2023, SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges wrote to clients this week.
As companies race to the FDA finish line, a market worth $10.5 billion could take shape over the next decade, Porges says.
Based on currently available information, the analyst expects vaccine giant GSK to nab $2.9 billion of that total revenue by 2030, while Pfizer collects $2.1 billion, J&J picks up $1.7 billion and Sanofi scores $1.2 billion.
GSK, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline are all in late-stage testing for their RSV shots. Sanofi, while it’s a leading vaccine player worldwide, is taking another approach with its late-stage RSV program. The company and partner AstraZeneca are working on a prophylactic monoclonal antibody for infants, and they plan to file for approval next year.
Other vaccine and drug developers including Bavarian Nordic and Moderna are in mid-stage testing or earlier in RSV and are expected to capture $2.6 billion of the overall market, Porges wrote.
As for the three leading vaccines from Pfizer, GSK and J&J, Porges expects “more or less equal timing” for their launches and a “low probability of real differentiation between the programs.” The analysts’ team plans to update their RSV sales model over time as more data become available.
Just last week, Pfizer started a phase 3 trial of its RSV vaccine candidate in adults 60 and older. With the company’s COVID-19 vaccine launch experience, the company could be a “significant” competitor in the field, Porges wrote. Pfizer expects results as early as the first quarter of 2022, Porges wrote.
GSK expects a late-stage readout for its trial in the second half of next year. J&J hasn’t released its expected phase 3 trial timeline.
By 2030, Porges expects that 72% of the RSV market will come from adults, while 10% comes from maternal immunization—or vaccinating mothers to protect their babies—and 18% comes from infants.
RSV, the top cause of pneumonia and pneumonia in children under one, is spread through respiratory droplets or contact with a contaminated surface. The virus usually emerges in the fall in the United States and peaks in the winter.
But in recent months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, experts have been noting an uptick in RSV cases. During an unusual summer RSV season, pediatric hospitals reported infections around the Southern United States, the CDC warned in June.
by Eric Sagonowsky
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