October 03, 2011 09:08 ET

Cell Culture Technology Gradually Replacing Egg-Based Vaccine Manufacturing

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - Oct 3, 2011) - has announced the addition of the new report "Manufacturing of Vaccines - Cell Culture Technology Gradually Replacing Egg-Based Manufacturing," to their collection of Pharmaceuticals market reports. For more information, visit

The global vaccine industry was valued at $24.4 billion in 2007 and is expected to reach $52.1 billion in 2016, at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.5%. The vaccine market, which was once considered a low-profit segment of the top players' portfolios, showed a turnaround after the resounding success of Prevnar, the first blockbuster vaccine. The ability of vaccines to generate high revenues and profits due to premium pricing has proven attractive to both existing players in the market and to big pharmaceutical companies, who have been watching the development of the market with interest.

In 2010, the global revenue amounted close to $30 billion. This global revenue is estimated to rise further and generate $50 billion in 2016. Factors such as increasing vaccination coverage and the threat of pandemic influenza will drive vaccine sales in the coming years.

This surge in revenues and growth rates comes at a time when the pharmaceutical industry is under huge pressure from patent expiries and weakened pipelines. The pharmaceutical industry has been intent on strengthening its revenue streams and streamlining operations through lay-offs and shutdowns of manufacturing and R&D (research and development) operations. The success of premium priced vaccines, such as Prevnar, Gardasil, and Cervarix, has prompted big pharmaceutical players, such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca, to invest in the vaccine industry, which promises safe revenues due to the lack of any threat from generics.

GBI Research has concluded that the market dynamics in the current vaccine industry reflect a shift towards a functional model that is characteristic of the conventional pharmaceutical industry. A number of innovative vaccines, some at the development stage and some which have already been introduced, focus on product differentiation as a means to success. The influenza vaccine market has a number of vaccines, namely the 'flu' shot and the nasal-spray flu vaccine for seasonal flu viruses. The rapid development, production, and distribution of pandemic influenza vaccines could potentially save millions of lives during an influenza pandemic. Due to the short time frame between identification of a pandemic strain and the need for vaccination, researchers are looking at novel technologies for vaccine production that could provide better real-time access and be produced more affordably, thereby increasing access for people living in low- and moderate-income countries where an influenza pandemic may likely originate, such as live attenuated (egg-based or cell-based) technology and recombinant technologies (proteins and virus-like particles). Companies are using new vaccine technologies in an effort to increase prices and increase profits from the segment. Also, vaccine players are looking to utilize the brand equity of successful vaccines in generating more revenues from a disease segment.

Vaccines such as Prevnar and Gardasil, which are generating more than $1 billion a year, are being extended for preventing more related diseases, with the aim of adding to the existing revenue streams. Prevnar, a 7-valent vaccine which prevents against seven serogroups, is being developed as Prevnar-13 to prevent against an additional six serogroups. Gardasil, which was originally approved for the prevention of four strains of human papilloma virus, is now being developed for the prevention of nine strains. Product extension strategies -- which are commonplace in the pharmaceutical industry -- are now being used extensively in the vaccine industry to benefit from the existing popularity of a successful brand. The vaccine industry is expected to use lifecycle management strategies to full effect in order to retain and improve revenues from their portfolio.

The vaccine manufacturing process is on the rise and there are few factors which could facilitate this process. The probability of an occurrence of influenza in a highly populated area poses a major threat, which, in turn, has enabled vaccine manufacturers to focus on new and novel production techniques of vaccine manufacturing. One major breakthrough in vaccine manufacturing is the usage of adjuvants. Adjuvant technology involves the addition of chemicals or pharmaceutical agents (other than the antigen) to the vaccine, in order to increase the vaccine's antigenicity, or its ability to generate an immune response. Using adjuvants, the amount of antigen required in a vaccine to generate an immune response can be reduced, making the vaccine safer for humans. Simultaneously, increasing awareness regarding vaccination usage among common people will drive the market for vaccine manufacturing.

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