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Towards a new vaccine economy?.

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By Poirot P, Martin JF • • May 1, 1994


When Jonas Salk announced in the mid-50s the availability of a new vaccine against poliomyelitis, the world had the impression that it was now controlling infectious diseases. In fact, the success of this vaccine has been considerable and although some innovations lead to the launch of vaccines against flu, measles, rubella or mumps, the world vaccine market remained remarkably stable till the mid-80s. However, since 1984 (launch of the hepatitis B vaccine) there have been very substantial changes and further change is expected in the next ten years in the world market. Today, big companies are making a concentrated supply: Pasteur Mérieux with its subsidiary Connaught, SmithKline Beecham who acquired the Belgian company RIT, and Merck & Co. who is joining its forces with Pasteur Mérieux. Medium sized and small companies remain and reflect the situation of the past, but must work hard to secure their long term existence eventhough the world demand is going to double before the year 2000. Very substantial technological innovations explain to a large extent the development of the supply: progress in molecular biology, and particularly genetic engineering, lead to recombinant vaccines of which hepatitis B is the best example with worldwide sales in the range of $600 million a year. Similarly, conjugation technologies have allowed the development of new vaccines against meningitis, particularly Haemophilus influenzae type b. More recently, an efficacious vaccine against hepatitis A has been launched and many new products will be marketed in the next years against herpes, Lyme disease, and agents of other meningitis, etc.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Sante. 1994 May-Jun;4(3):183-7. English Abstract; Review

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