The global vaccines market is set to grow rapidly over the next few years and GlaxoSmithKline has outlined to analysts and investors its plans to dominate the sector with a spate of new products.

With more than 20 vaccines in clinical development, the company says it is hoping to market five major products over the next five years, which have the potential to reach a total market value of £6 billion to £10 billion by 2010. First up should be Cervarix, a vaccine for the prevention of human papilloma virus which causes cervical cancer, which has been exciting analysts for some time. GSK believes that up to 80 million women could be vaccinated by 2010 for protection against cervical cancer, giving the market a value of around £2 million to £4 million, and it hopes that Cervarix will be the vaccine of choice.

Regulatory filings will take place in Europe in the first half of 2006, and in international markets during that year, but the picture in the US is less clear. GSK said that discussions on filing with the US Food and Drug Administration, where the vaccine has been granted fast track status, are ongoing, but analysts were disappointed that the firm could not be more specific. Getting to the market quickly is particularly important given that Merck & Co’s rival HPV vaccine Gardasil is further along the clinical path [[20/05/05a]], so sales estimates for Cervarix vary from $1 billion to $4 billion a year.

GSK is also enthusiastic about Rotarix for rotavirus gastroenteritis, one of the leading causes of childhood hospitalisation in the US and Europe and one of the top five causes of childhood death in the developing world. This market is predicted to be worth as much as £1.3 billion by 2010 and Rotarix was launched in its first market, Mexico, at the beginning of the year [[10/01/05f]]. GSK has submitted filings for Rotarix in Europe and 50 other markets, but again the firm declined to be specific about a US filing, saying only that it is in talks with the FDA.

The three other products nearing the market are Streptorix for pneumococcal disease, which GSK believes will rival Wyeth’s Prevnar, a new influenza vaccine and a product to treat meningitis. It also plans to double manufacturing capacity of its already-established Fluarix vaccine to 80 million doses annually by 2008.