• by bcarlson@marketresearch.com
  • April 4 2014

Quadrivalents Boost Flu Vaccine Sales

Quadrivalents Boost Flu Vaccine Sales

The  2013 influenza season was the first in which quadrivalent influenza vaccines with an extra B strain were available in the U.S. According to our upcoming vaccine market report, that is one of the factors, combined with a rougher-than-average season, that helped revenues for flu vaccine makers last year.  We estimate that in 2013, influenza vaccines generated $3.1 billion in revenues.  Until 2013, seasonal influenza vaccines included only one B strain. However, influenza B has been a common cause of flu-related morbidity and mortality as it is associated with pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses, nervous system disease, muscle pain and inflammation, and other complications.

Almost half of influenza-associated deaths in children under 18 years of age are due to influenza B and epidemics of influenza B occur every two to four years in all age groups. New products include MedImmune’s Flumist Quadrivalent live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4); Sanofi Pasteur’s Fluzone Quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV4); GlaxoSmithKline’s Fluarix IIV4; Novarti’s Flucelvax, a trivalent cell culture-based inactivated influenza vaccine; and Protein Sciences’ FluBlok, a recombinant hemagglutinin vaccine.

The $3.1 billion in revenues is up 13.2% from the prior year on a relatively severe current flu season in the U.S., but significantly reduced from sales in earlier years. Sales in this segment had been especially strong in 2009 and 2010 due to government stockpiling - and some cases, over-purchasing - of new avian and swine flu vaccines, but have since returned to earlier levels with major flu vaccine manufacturers reporting significant declines from 2010.

Vaccine manufacturers estimate 138 - 145 million doses of influenza vaccine will be produced for the U.S. market this season; of these, 30 million to 32 million doses will be quadrivalent flu vaccine, and the remainder will be trivalent flu vaccine.

Sanofi Pasteur reported total influenza vaccine sales in 2013 of almost $1.3 billion, including differentiated vaccines such as Fluzone, high-dose for elderly people, Fluzone, a four-strain influenza vaccine and Fluzone ID (which uses a novel microinjection system for intradermal delivery). The company’s full-year sales of influenza vaccines reached of new record level, up 9.3%. In the U.S., flu vaccine sales rose 20.4%. Similarly, sales of reported GlaxoSmithKline’s influenza vaccines, Fluarix and FluLaval, reached almost $420 million, up 25% over the prior year.  During the year, Novartis shipped 63.1 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine and 19.7 million doses of pandemic influenza vaccine, contributing to overall sales growth of 7% in the company’s Vaccines and Diagnostics division.  Kalorama’s vaccine world market report will be published in late April; our current research is available at http://www.kaloramainformation.com/Vaccines-Players-Trends-7140769/