While the COVID-19 vaccine development spells significant challenges for highly competitive pharmaceutical industry leaders, it has also shed light on what lies in the future for those who manufacture a successful vaccine. According to estimates by analysts at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, the coronavirus vaccine market could be worth over $10 billion a year generating blockbuster revenues for major drugmakers.
Matthew Harrison, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, told the Financial Times people will need to take a COVID-19 vaccine every year, like a seasonal flu shot. According to the projected costs for the coronavirus vaccine, a single dose could be priced at around $20 USD. Even if people in developed countries take a conservative approach, where only those who get an influenza vaccine also take a shot for COVID-19, the market would be worth $10 billion USD, suggests Harrison.
Evan Seigerman, an analyst at Credit Suisse, supposes the market could be worth over $10 billion USD in the United States alone.
Promising COVID-19 Vaccines in Development
Currently, the size of the coronavirus vaccine market is equivalent to the annual revenue from ten blockbuster drugs. (Medications that generate more than $1 billion in annual revenue for their respective pharmaceutical companies are called ‘blockbuster’ drugs.) The COVID-19 vaccine market size has shown tremendous potential in past eight months, especially with billions of dollars of government funding and how pharmaceutical companies could profit from that level of public aid.
Major players like AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson will provide a successful COVID-19 vaccine shot on a non-profit basis during the pandemic. However, the future cost of the vaccine could be a contended issue.
Moderna, which is expecting the emergency-use authorization route to launch its coronavirus vaccine, believes vulnerable people will continue to get a booster shot for a while.
Nonetheless, the window to bank on COVID-19 vaccine’s revenue potential is a smaller one. According to Moderna’s president Stephen Hoge, coronavirus vaccine market potential when compared to the market for immunization against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which mainly affects infants and young adults, is “not a trivial one.” Moderna will be combining COVID-19 doze will vaccines for RSV or influenza.
Executives at leading pharmaceutical companies believe coronavirus might become an endemic disease.
According to David Ricks, CEO of Eli Lilly, which is currently developing 300000 vials of its investigational COVID-19 treatment, there is going to be long-term demand for the drug. Ricks told the Financial Times that not everyone would be vaccinated and that the coronavirus disease would continue to spread.
Coronavirus Mutation Fears
The pandemic virus is mutating slowly than the flu. There has also been an uptick in concerns among the scientific community that the virus may mutate into something deadlier. A study from the Scripps Research Institute in Florida suggests the coronavirus has already mutated into a strain that poses a far bigger threat to humanity. Recent studies have raised several concerns over how long vaccine-triggered immunization will endure. Experts believe it’s too early to estimate the true COVID-19 market size without learning whether people will need boosting on an annual basis or less often.
No matter the opinions on how the coronavirus mutations will play out in 2020 and beyond, nearly everyone agrees that there’s one surefire way to end the epidemic. A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.