Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a viral infection that affects the cranial nerves that originate in the brain. It is caused by the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that also cases chicken pox. The virus can stay dormant for many years in the human body, which is why anyone who has had chicken pox in the past is at the risk of developing shingles. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2018, there are an estimated one million cases of shingles reported every year in the U.S. Moreover, CDC states that around one in every three people in the U.S. will develop shingles in their lifetime. The risk of shingles increases with age, with most cases reported among people over 40 years old. This is mainly due to weakening of the immune system on account of increased stress and inadequate intake of essential nutrients to keep immunity strong.
Its symptoms include skin rashes, nerve pain, vision loss, chills, upset stomach, muscle weakness, skin infection, and scarring. Treatment for shingles includes antiviral medication—acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir. These medicines help shorten the length and alleviate the severity of the illness. Furthermore, analgesics may help relieve the pain.
Global Shingles Vaccine Market Dynamics
The Zostavax vaccine, licensed by Merck & Co., Inc. in 2006, is an effective vaccine against shingles. The vaccine is intended for the use in population age 50 years and above. The trials of the Zostavax vaccine demonstrated that the vaccine was 64% effective in people aged 60 to 69 years. The effectiveness reduces with increasing age i.e. to 41% for the 70–79 age group, and 18% for those 80 years of age and above. The vaccine was launched in the India market in February 2016, at half the price of the U.S. market. Zostavax, is only shingles vaccine in the market that recorded sales of US$ 749 million in 2015.
In October 2016, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a global leader in vaccines market, filed for U.S. FDA approval for its shingles vaccine, ‘Shingrix’. Shingrix has demonstrated better outcomes than Zostavax in its clinical trials. The vaccine was 90% effective in people over 70 years of age. The overall effectiveness of the vaccine was found to be 97%. Its higher effectiveness even among geriatric population is projected to increase its adoption across the globe. This impressive trail results would put Shingrix in a strong competitive position in the global market, currently monopolized by Zostavax. The company is reported to have filed for regulatory approvals in the Europe and Canada markets in 2016, followed by Japan in 2017. It is estimated that the sales of Shingrix would reach US$ 1 billion by 2021.
The global shingles vaccine market is witnessing rapid influx of newer and expensive products. The industry is consolidated in nature however, new entrants are expected to emerge in the near future.
Global Shingles Vaccine Market Regional Analysis
North America and Europe are expected to collectively account for a major share between 2016 and 2024. North America market growth is primarily driven by rising demand in the U.S., while the market in Europe is expected to be driven by increased therapeutic demand from European Union.
Asia Pacific shingles vaccine market is expected to witness highest growth over the forecast period. There is a wide addressable market that needs to be capitalized in the region especially in China and India. Active marketing and differential pricing would help companies to strengthen their market presence in Asia Pacific.
Global Shingles Vaccine Market Opportunity
Prevalence of shingles is increasing across the globe, fueled mainly by increasing geriatric population. However, high cost of vaccines is limiting vaccination in emerging economies, characterized by inadequate insurance coverage. The major concern among healthcare experts is reduction in postherpetic neuralgia from the shingles vaccine. Zostavax has been successful to a certain extent in reducing postherpetic neuralgia due to the effect of the vaccine on reducing risk of developing herpes zoster. Better outcomes of Shingrix would be a boon for highly lucrative global shingles vaccines market.