The Associated Press (AP) is reporting that Pfizer, Inc. of New York has been significantly expanding its vaccines product line. In a press briefing on July 21, 2015, Pfizer officials expressed their company’s plans to have vaccines to help protect people “from cradle to grave, from shots for pregnant women to protect their babies from the moment of birth to vaccines for senior citizens with waning immune systems.”
Pfizer’s current top selling vaccine is Prevnar 13, designed to protect infants, children and adults from contracting pneumococcal bacteria diseases such pneumonia and meningitis. Prevnar 13 contains 13 different types of the bacteria. The product brought in sales revenue of $4.5 billion for Pfizer in 2014.
Until last year, the company had no other vaccine product besides Prevnar 13 in its portfolio. According to the AP, Pfizer now has a total of four vaccines that have been approved in the United States and abroad, and is in the process of developing and testing others to combat “against deadly bacteria spread in hospitals and the community, a virus that’s common in young adults, and against cancer and severe high cholesterol in older patients.”
On October 29, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer’s Trumenba vaccine again the group B strain of bacterial meningitis for individuals 10-25 years of age. On December 1, 2014, Pfizer purchased the NeisVac-C and FSME-IMMUN/TicoVac vaccines from Baxter International, Inc. of Deerfield, IL. NeisVac-C is for the C strain of meningitis, while FSME-IMMUN/TicoVac is for tick-borne encephalitis.
On June 22, 2015, Pfizer announced it had entered into an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) of the United Kingdom to acquire its Nimenrix and Mencevax vaccines. The complementary products are designed to protect against the A, C, W and Y strains of meningitis.
AP reports that Pfizer officials are in the early stages of research on vaccines for “pregnant women that could pass on crucial antibodies to would protect their newborns.”
The AP quotes Pfizer’s director of global research, Mikael Dolsten, as saying, “It’s a very exciting time… in vaccines,” apparently referring to the company’s move to broaden its vaccine customer base to include adults, as well as children.
Read the full July 21, 2015 article “Pfizer Is Expanding Its Vaccine Portfolio, Developing Others” at ABC News.