Meningitis Instigates Severe Burden on Global Healthcare System
With over 1.2 million cases anticipated to be registered annually, worldwide, bacterial meningitis continues to be one of the serious and significant causes of morbidity and mortality in several countries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that if not treated, bacterial meningitis has a fatality rate of up to 70%.
While a measurable disease-inflicted population is most likely to develop some permanent neurological sequelae, the contribution of this disease to the outcome of mortality is much higher than to that of a disability. These statistical data points, coupled with growing awareness regarding the same, provide a strong foundation ground for meningitis vaccines market to thrive. This is one of the foremost reasons for the increase in demand for meningococcal vaccines, thereby accelerating the growth of meningitis vaccines market.
While the rate of prevalence of bacterial meningitis is observed to be even higher among children up to one year of age, it has predominantly pushed the introduction of meningococcal vaccine in national immunization programmes of several countries. For the global meningitis vaccines market build-up, this has been a significant development.
According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of bacterial meningitis is disproportionately greater across the sub-Saharan Africa – more popularly the meningitis belt. Around 400 million people living in 26 different countries across this belt are affected by bacterial meningitis every year, creating a major concern facing the health infrastructure of the region as well as at a global level. It underscores the critical need for effective immunization against the disease, driving the scope for growth of meningitis vaccines market.
Meningitis Vaccines Market Largely Benefits from Research Activities; Role of MRF Pivotal
Research studies around the geographic and epidemiological characteristics of bacterial meningitis continue to be a significant pillar of growth for the market. Moreover, with governments bringing improved opportunities for students to enter vaccines atmosphere throughs R&D projects promises enhanced production of vaccines, supporting the market for meningitis vaccines.
Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) has set a global vision and a global roadmap to defeat meningitis by 2030 end. The foundation has also awarded nearly 161 research grants since 1989 in addition to investments worth of approximately USD 28 million in scientific research around bacterial meningitis. Moreover, privatization of several institutions providing foundation to vaccine research has led to better commercialization of the vaccine improving awareness among people. Such developments have been crucial in pushing the progress of meningitis vaccines market.
However, compared to the various other vaccine-preventable diseases, rates of meningitis vaccines witness a lesser fall, which remains one of the most prominent reasons impeding growth of market. Including bacterial meningitis under global health priorities is yet to be considered, let alone be achieved. The market for vaccines thus continues to face some serious challenges in long term.
COVID-19 Outbreak Concomitantly Boosts Immunization Programmes for Meningitis
While the global COVID-19 outbreak has highlighted the need for effective vaccination against, it has been indirectly working to the advantage of meningitis vaccines market as well. High disease prevalence and favourable vaccine supply scenario are collectively playing out as driving factors for meningitis vaccines market. The need for strengthened healthcare infrastructure has improved demand for major vaccination programmes including meningococcal vaccines. Specific demand for this vaccine, however, can be characterized by its use outside of routine immunization, including private and subnational procedures. The national use of 2019 of approximately 100 million doses was reported by WHO, which is expected to increase in the foreseeable future.
Meningococcal ACWY (MenACWY) Conjugate Vaccine Market Expected to Increase to Meet Demand
About 12 vaccine types and 29 products with several others in the pipeline have been introduced for effective immunization. However, only 4 - conjugate MenA and three conjugate MenACWY vaccines have been prequalified with an increase in demand. Out of the 29 products, 12 are created and supplied only within the Chinese borders as of now. The landscape is, however, expected to change with trans-border exports to meet the worldwide demand of these products.
Besides China’s demand, according to the WHO, 45 million doses of MenACWY and MenC Conjugate will address the increase in demand worldwide as a consequence of increases incidence in these serogroups. Further, these vaccines are divided into conjugate, polysaccharide and subcapsular subcategories. According to WHO, based on current use pattern, the vaccine demand is expected to increase with China forming a major user base. Accounting for 34% of global demand, China continues to leads its way, primarily for polysaccharide products that currently capture 84% of China’s total demand. Demand for MenACWY conjugate is estimated to increase over the short- and mid-term due to withdrawal of polysaccharide products.
Chinese and Indian Manufacturers Lead with Multiple Products in Pipeline
Global access to various enhanced vaccines is expected to increase as institutions from China and India constantly have new products in their pipelines, eyeing the global demand. In some countries such as Nigeria and Niger, the supply is limited because of logistical constraints and is not enough to meet demand thus, the market for meningitis vaccines is expected to grow due to potential availability of new products in such countries. Potential interest from Chinese and Indian manufacturers in supplying outside of domestic markets affirms increased supply from these countries to meet worldwide demand.
While a majority of demand lies in countries across the meningitis belt, such countries have shown strong interest in multivariant vaccine products. This has held a strong positive impact on overall demand dynamics in the meningitis vaccines market. Fast developing South-Asian countries such as India play a crucial role here, with avid investments in national vaccination programs.
Key Players Spearhead to Suffice Massive Vaccine Demand
Several manufacturers take the lead in the procurement and production of the meningococcal vaccines, including the Serum Institute of India (SII). Producing three products of which two have been prequalified by the WHO, SII ranks amongst the top key players in meningitis market. Chongqing Zhifei also forms the part of the list along with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Sanofi Pasteur, and Vacsera. Other notable manufacturers include Pfizer, Nuron Biotech, China National Biotech Group, Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz, Hualan Biological Bacterin Co., Ltd, and Beijing Institute of Biological Products Co., Ltd.