Sales of GlaxoSmithKline's Relenza Likely to Increase During the A/H1N1 2009 Pandemic as Tamiflu-Resistant Strains of the Virus Spread
WALTHAM, Mass., Oct. 15 -- Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms focusing on pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that during the A/H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic, GlaxoSmithKline could see its Relenza sales increase if Tamiflu-resistant strains of the virus spread. GlaxoSmithKline recently signed A/H1N1 2009 vaccine contracts with various governments for more than $3 billion and is donating supplies to less wealthy nations, ensuring that the company strikes a balance between profit and public health concerns.
“Relenza did not enjoy the success seen by Tamiflu during the H5N1 influenza scare, also known as the avian flu, mostly because it is an inhalable product, which coupled with manufacturing issues and other concerns made Tamiflu a simpler choice for governments to stockpile,” stated Sylvia Eash, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources.
The nature of pandemics makes cell-based vaccines an ideal choice over egg-based vaccines once cell-based technologies are sufficiently developed. Although the technology is more expensive, governments might be more than willing to pay the price so that they can more quickly vaccinate their populations and avoid unnecessary casualties and illness. Companies leading the way in these technologies include Baxter International, Solvay Pharmaceuticals (soon to be acquired by Abbott Laboratories) and Novartis.
“Governments have warned that an unexpected pandemic could create a public health emergency that would outstrip the capacity and speed of egg-based production methods. Some of our in-house epidemiologists and analysts fear that the current A/H1N1 2009 pandemic could peak before adequate supplies of vaccine become available,” said Matt Drapeau, analyst at Decision Resources. “Therefore, it is essential that companies like Baxter, Solvay and Novartis fully develop this technology before a more virulent and transmissible pandemic occurs in the future.”
Decision Resources announces the new special report on swine flu entitled The Pandemic Paradigm: Balancing Commercial Opportunities with Public Health Concerns in the Face of A/H1N1 2009, which briefly looks at the history of influenza outbreaks in the 20th century and examines current and emerging vaccine technologies and companies involved in the development of A/H1N1 2009 vaccines. Because swine flu has become such a public concern, Decision Resources is making this report available to the media to serve as background research. To get a copy of this report, please contact Gisselle Morales at 781-296-2691 or by email at email@example.com.
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