The landscape of vaccine discovery and drug delivery continues to evolve at a rapid pace with pharmaceutical developments and technological advancements. Biologics and novel drug discovery techniques keep witnessing new opportunities and challenges, as the industry goes big on biotherapeutics. Growth of personalized medicine is also anticipated to positively influence the vaccine research, administration, and applications. Vaccines are one of the most cost effective as well as preventive medical interventions available to reduce mortality and morbidity. It is, arguably, one of the best ways to reduce hospitalization costs, healthcare expenses and to resolves issues related to worker productivity.
Novel vaccines for the elderly
The success of vaccine is attributed to its effectiveness in the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases like influenza (flu), polio, and other acute infections. Researchers and scientists are focused on developing preventive vaccines for cancer, tuberculosis, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic diseases and disorders. The rising cost of healthcare, high prevalence of non-infectious diseases among elderly, and technological innovations have added new dimensions to vaccine research.
Hence, there an increasing demand for new vaccines specifically targeted at geriatric population. According to the researchers, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the major neurodegenerative disorders that can be controlled with the help of advanced vaccination. It is a common condition disrupting health and wellbeing of elderly, especially in developing regions. Therefore, advancements in therapeutic vaccines is on the cards as far as immediate advancements are concerned.
A new analysis revealed that the vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease could be made available in the next decade or so. As of now, all the available treatment options can only alter the disease progression, boost memory skills, thinking ability, and reduce the symptoms. However, availability of pipeline drugs could provide a new lifeline to the patients in near future. Companies, however, would require to be prepared to witness instant and huge demand and curbing their cost is expected to be a major challenge.
Future supply chain
Functional supply chain is crucial for the implementation of a successful immunization program. Hence, vaccine market players are focused on developing strong and trustworthy logistics and end-to-end supply chains. Supply chains in this market ensure effective handling, storage, stock management; and care of vaccines through rigorous temperature control. Cold chain management and maintenance of adequate information systems for logistics management plays the key role.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the ultimate goal is to ensure uninterrupted availability of vaccines from manufacturer to suppliers to service-delivery levels with the right amount of:
The surge of novel vaccine discovery, delivery devices (Fig. 1), and technological advancements have put significant strain on vaccine supply chains.  Along with the computational disease transmission dynamics and cold chain models, companies and government bodies are developing models that can maximize the use of available resources for optimum effect. These models can help healthcare policymakers and public health authorities in decision-making and estimating the end goals in terms of distribution and usage of the product.
New beneficiaries for existing vaccines
Along with the impending public health threats, research organizations are focused on inclusive access to immunization, especially to the emerging economies. Technological advancements and willingness of pharma giants in R&D investments can create positive atmosphere for the chronic disease industry. Vaccine research is a vital issue as far as the healthcare giants are concerned and their primary focus seems to be on developing innovative products for the regions that do not have access to vaccine market.
Apart from large conglomerates, governments and non-government bodies are also providing special attention to innovating advanced vaccines for developing regions. The aim is to develop vaccines that can be highly effective as well as affordable for the emerging economies. The industry is also putting emphasis on utilizing under-used vaccines so that the developing markets can gain access to these medicines at affordable prices. Vaccinology experts proclaim that the industry is on the cusp of revolution in terms of application and innovation.
Incurable diseases on radar
Vaccine researchers have constantly struggled to discover definitive solution for several incurable diseases for a long time. Malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS are some of these diseases with virtually no cure. Tuberculosis (TB) is broadly under control as far as the emerging countries are concerned. However, high prevalence in Europe in recent past has alerted the organizations. Vaccinations that are available in the market are useful for the treatment of children but are not too effective in adults.
The complex nature of these diseases, their ability to evade treatments, and early onslaughts, are some of the common factors these diseases have. As a result, the industry is in need for a breakthrough for definitive treatment. Although ambitious, researchers are hopeful to discover vaccines for the prevention of these diseases. However, encouraging organizations to invest in the research and development of advanced products is one of the major hurdles the market is facing.
As per the research report published by Grand View Research, the global vaccine market is anticipated to reach $77.5 billion by the end of the year 2024, and growing at a 10.3% CAGR since 2015.  Rising demand for introduction of vaccines is the primary market driver. High awareness regarding the advantages of vaccination for the prevention of various diseases is also expected to boost the market in near future. Technological advancements are anticipated to create business opportunities in the years to come.
The Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) was launched by the WHO in 2012. Authorized by 194 World Health Assembly member states, this plan is designed to strengthen routine vaccination and immunization through continuous assessments. With the help of GVAP, the organization aims to evaluate the vaccine coverage goals and targets on national as well as international scale. Rising government and non-governmental funding in R&D is also anticipated to drive growth in the market for vaccine in the forthcoming years.
Opportunities in development of equipment, facilities, supply chain, and training of skilled labor is expected to bode well for the vaccine market players in the years to come. Guidelines from WHO and UNICEF regarding development of national immunization plans for various nations around the world can boost business prospects for the stakeholders in near future. Such guidelines can encourage attainment of vaccination targets and implementation of feasible strategies.
The vaccine manufacturing industry is heading towards a new era with innovations and investments in product developments. The market players are keen on contract manufacturing of vaccines and delivery devices due to high demand.  The future trends in drug discovery, biologics, and drug discovery seem to be focused on developing strategic plans and strong business models. Innovative product developments, government and non-governmental support, and investments from players like Novartis AG, Merck & Co., Inc., Johnson and Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline Plc. And Pfizer, Inc., among others can boost the scope of business in the vaccine market.
* HIV Vaccine. In May 2018, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced positive results of clinical trials for PennVax-GP, an HIV vaccine candidate. It was reported to stimulate the highest level of overall immune response rate in a human study. The company is focused on developing a vaccine for both preventive and therapeutic purposes. This vaccine consists of four HIV antigens in combination to generate T-cell and antibody responses.
* Cancer Vaccine. FDA recently designated galinpepimut-s (GPS) as an orphan drug and possible cancer cure. This announcement was made by Sellas Life Sciences in May 2018. This orphan drug designation by FDA is expected to support clinical development of this drug for the treatment of multiple myeloma. This designation can provide tax credits, market exclusivity, and exemptions from application fees.
* Flu Vaccine. A team of researchers from the Georgia State University have developed a universal flu vaccine. This vaccine can work for all strains of type A influenza. The researchers introduced nanoparticles into the body for the prevention of flu. These double-layered protein nanoparticles target hemagglutinin (HA) present on the surface of flu viruses. The team hopes for this vaccine to provide protection against different strains of flu including H7N9, H5N1, H3N2, and H1N1.
The global vaccine market is highly competitive driven by product innovations. Market players are aiming at business expansions with the help of collaborations and mergers and acquisitions (M&A). The developing markets are expected to present the top players with attractive business opportunities in near future owing to high awareness level, involvement of governments and non-governmental bodies, and prevalence of diseases.
About the authors
At Grand View Research, Rubik Angelo Barar, is Team Lead, Advanced Diagnostics; Rajat Saxena is Team Lead, Medical Devices and Healthcare IT; and Payal Kulkarni, is Team Lead, Healthcare and Pharma. Grand View Research performs provides syndicated and custom research and consulting services for Fortune 500 companies and others globally. More than 1,000 new reports are published annually by more than 200 analysts and research professionals.