H1N1 influenza virus causes viral disease, commonly known as swine flu, which mostly affects the respiratory system. Swine flu is characterized by infection from H1N1 strain. Symptoms of H1N1 flu are fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, watery and red eyes, body aches, headache, fatigue, and diarrhea. H1N1 spreads through contact with contaminated air or geographical locations infected with virus. H1N1 infection may worsen other chronic respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia, COPD, and sometimes even death due to respiratory failure.
H1N1 vaccine is an important innovation to tackle the H1N1 pandemic since 2009. Initially, the vaccines developed or available were inactivated monovalent vaccines that could prevent infection from most of the strains of H1N1. There are two routes of administration such as intradermal for inactivated vaccine and intranasal for live attenuated vaccine. Both routes shown efficacy profile and are bioequivalent against preventing H1N1 infection. Global H1N1 vaccine market has presence of both multinational pharmaceutical companies and companies from emerging economies.
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One of the major factor propelling growth of H1N1 market is increased incidence of disease and episodes of pandemic worldwide from H1N1 infection. According to World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2018, factsheet estimates, 290,000 to 650,000 deaths are reported each year from all types of influenza infection (including Influenza A i.e. H1N1). Each year there are 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness from viral influenza infection globally, according to the same source.
Government initiatives, both internationally and nationally, to tackle H1N1 pandemic would positively impact the market growth. Health institution such as World Health Organization (WHO) have been instrumental in developing vaccines and supporting efficient distribution of the vaccine. After 2009 pandemic of H1N1 influenza, the U.S. government initiated US$ 3 billion H1N1 vaccine project under which it contracted five major companies to develop vaccine for H1N1 influenza. Under the WHO’s Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System, National Influenza Centers and WHO Collaborating Centers are continuously monitoring the influenza viruses circulating in humans and updates the composition of influenza vaccines twice a year.
Furthermore, rising geriatric population worldwide would be another impetus for growth of the H1N1 vaccine market. Global population is crossing the age of 60 at annual rate of 3% according to 2017 UN report. Increased age, maximizes the risk of various respiratory tract related diseases and immune deficient diseases, thereby the risk for infection due to H1N1 virus rises. Awareness amongst patients about preventive healthcare approaches such as vaccination may lead to higher demand for H1N1 vaccines during forecast period.
However, seasonal nature of occurrence of H1N1 flu has led to meagre revenue for many of the key players. For instance, India-based Serum Institute, which produces intranasal live vaccine to treat swine flu had to destroy stock of 2 million doses in the year 2011 due to lack of demand. In contrast, if pandemic arises suddenly, supply of vaccine may be delayed due to slow production of vaccine, which may negatively affect health of many patients. Due to constant evolving nature of H1N1 virus, vaccine may prove to be ineffective in some parts of the world, which may deter the use of vaccines.
Medimmune, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Serum Institute of India, Abbott Healthcare, Sanofi Pasture, CSL Biotherapeutics, Sinovac, ID Biomedical Corporation, Cadila Healthcare, and Lupin Ltd.