Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics(formerly Human Vaccines)
Volume 8, Issue 10 October 2012
Business models and opportunities for cancer vaccine developers
Despite of growing oncology pipeline, cancer vaccines contribute only to a minor share of total oncology-attributed revenues. This is mainly because of a limited number of approved products and limited sales from products approved under compassionate or via early access entry in smaller and less developed markets. However revenue contribution from these products is extremely limited and it remains to be established whether developers are breaking even or achieving profitability with existing sales. Cancer vaccine field is well recognized for high development costs and risks, low historical rates of investment return and high probability of failures arising in ventures, partnerships and alliances. The cost of reimbursement for new oncology agents is not universally acceptable to payers limiting the potential for a global expansion, market access and reducing probability of commercial success. In addition, the innovation in cancer immunotherapy is currently focused in small and mid-size biotech companies and academic institutions struggling for investment. Existing R&D innovation models are deemed unsustainable in current “value-for-money” oriented healthcare environment. New business models should be much more open to collaborative, networked and federated styles, which could help to outreach global, markets and increase cost-efficiencies across an entire value chain. Lessons learned from some developing countries and especially from South Korea illustrate that further growth of cancer vaccine industry will depends not only on new business models but also will heavily rely on regional support and initiatives from different bodies, such as governments, payers and regulatory bodies.