Author: Lin Zhiyin Blame: Chen Shanshan
In China, a total of five HPV vaccines have been approved for marketing. From the point of view of the immunization procedures of these vaccines, two or three doses of vaccination are basically used, and there is no single dose vaccination.
Recently, the world health organization (WHO) on its website, in a news release, the organization was held on April 4-7 immunization strategy expert group meeting (SAGE), with a single dose of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination has carried on the review of evidence, concluded that a single dose of HPV vaccination scheme can effectively prevent cervical cancer caused by HPV persistent infection, The effect was comparable to that of two or three doses.
This could lead to important changes in cervical cancer prevention and control rules. How big is the impact on the HPV vaccine industry?
Persistent infection of high-risk HPV is the main cause of many cancers, and cervical cancer is the most common among the multiple cancers associated with persistent infection of high-risk HPV. More than 70 percent of cervical cancers are caused by hpV-16 and HPV-18, two high-risk types of HPV. Cervical cancer is also a cancer with clear etiology that can be prevented early and is expected to be eliminated. Prevention is divided into three levels, among which the primary prevention is mainly prophylactic HPV vaccination. HPV vaccination can effectively prevent about 70% to 90% of cervical cancer, and is also regarded as one of the main means and effective means to prevent cervical cancer.
SAGE's current new recommendations are based on concerns about the slow introduction of HPV vaccines into immunization programmes and low overall population coverage, particularly in poorer countries.
Worldwide, the use of life-saving vaccines has been slow, with coverage in some countries well below the 90% target, with global coverage of just 13% for three doses by 2020, the WHO said. The slow pace of HPV vaccination and low coverage are also constrained by insufficient supply and high cost of vaccination.
Back in November 2020, WHO released its Global Strategy to Accelerate the Elimination of Cervical Cancer, which aims to have 90% of girls vaccinated against HPV by the age of 15 by 2030. Nothemba Simelela, WHO Assistant Director-General, now believes that the recommendation for a single dose of HPV vaccination has the potential to move the goal faster, while making it cheaper, less resource-consuming and easier to administer, and making it easier to carry out age-specific vaccination campaigns. The challenge of having to track and manage multiple vaccinations is reduced, and the health money and human resources saved can be used for other health priorities.
Currently, SAGE recommends the following immunization regimen: single or two doses for females aged 9-14 (the highest priority group); Single or two doses for women aged 15-20 years; Women over 20 years of age receive two doses (6 months apart).
Global HPV vaccine sales totaled about $6.3 billion in 2021. Up to now, five HPV vaccines have been approved for marketing globally, namely glaxoSmithKline's bivalent HPV vaccine, Merck's tetravalent and nine-valent HPV vaccines, as well as Wanthai Bivalent HPV vaccine (603392.SH) and Watson Bivalent HPV vaccine (300142.sZ), both of which are Chinese companies.
All five vaccines have been approved for marketing in China. From the approved marketing HPV vaccine immunization procedures, basically using two or three doses of vaccination, there has not been a single dose of vaccination. Look from pricing, in our country, the product that already appeared on the market each agent price is in 300 yuan above, have more than 1000 yuan even.
Following these recommendations, some believe that the future market demand for HPV vaccine may face a certain decline.
Previously, Frost Sullivan said HPV vaccination rates in China as a whole are low at less than 1 percent for the total population, and even taking into account expected increases in HPV vaccination rates, there will still be 234 million women in China aged 9 to 45 who have not been vaccinated against HPV by 2025, assuming three doses per person, An additional 701.7 million doses may be required. Based on Frost Sullivan's numbers, the additional requirement today falls to 467.8 million doses, assuming two doses per person; Assuming a single dose per person, the additional requirement would be 233.9 million doses.
The WHO said its recommendations would be updated after further consultation with stakeholders.
But whether the WHO's recommendations can be implemented remains a game of thrones with HPV vaccine manufacturers.
An HPV vaccine manufacturer told China Business News that the WHO's recommendation is aimed at addressing the huge gap between HPV vaccine supply and demand, but it does not currently have legal force and is inconsistent with commercially available vaccination instructions, which do. "For listed vaccine companies, there may be some disputes if they hastily reduce the number of doses."
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