Pfizer’s (NSE:PFE) pneumococcal 13-valent conjugate vaccine Prevnar 13 brought in $5.85 billion last year, but Merck (NYSE:MRK) is hoping to increase its presence in the market with its investigational 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
Although Merck has a pneumococcal vaccine on the market known as Pneumovax 23, its sales were $1.1 billion last year. While technically a blockbuster, Pneumovax 23’s sales were only about one-fifth of Prevnar 13’s.
Merck announced that its V114 investigational 15-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine hit its primary immunogenicity and safety endpoints in two trials.
The company says the data potentially supports the use of the vaccine in healthy infants who have previously started immunization with the 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, who are vaccine-naïve or previously had received lower valency pediatric pneumococcal conjugate vaccines.
“At Merck, our goal is to expand coverage to new serotypes not targeted by currently available pediatric pneumococcal conjugate vaccines while maintaining a strong immune response to current vaccine serotypes so as to help sustain progress achieved to date,” said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president and head of global clinical development, chief medical officer at Merck Research Laboratories, in a statement. “Results from these studies support the potential of V114 to confer immunogenicity for PCV13 serotypes in infants who have previously received one or multiple doses of PCV13, and for the 15 serotypes in V114 in children in a catch-up setting.”
Merck has submitted the V114 vaccine to the FDA for the use in adults. It plans to file paperwork to clear the way for its use in children by the end of 2021.
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery, Immunology, Infectious Disease