Vaccines are biological preparations that improve an organism’s immunity to a particular disease. Ÿey can be prophylactic, such as influenza vaccines or Cervarix•, which is currently administered to girls aged 12-13 in the United Kingdom to prevent cervical cancer due to infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). Alternatively, vaccines can be therapeutic, such as BiovaxID•, which is in clinical trials for prolonging disease-free survival in follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Vaccines contain an agent that acts by stimulating the immune system to recognize this agent as a foreign entity. Ÿe immune system is then better prepared to recognize this agent and destroy it if the organism is infected with it in the future.
Ÿe rate of development of vaccines has significantly accelerated, bringing with it improvements in manufacturingtechniquesthatwillenablefurtherexpansion.Inthepast25years,therateofdevelopmentofnewvaccineshasincreasedfromoneevery5yearstoapproximatelyoneeveryyear(Ulmer etal.2006).Accordingtoareportpublishedin2007,theglobalvaccinemarketisexpectedtoreach $23.8billionby2012(Mitchell2007).Ÿelistoftopsellingvaccinescurrentlyincludesmanyagainst influenza,forchildrenandadults,andsomeagainstMMRandhepatitis(BusinessInsights2005).Ÿe keymanufacturersareWyeth,Merck&Co.,Sanofi-Aventis,Chiron,andGSK.Pediatricvaccinessuch asformeasles,mumps,andrubella(MMR),meningitis,andpolio,havesofardominatedthemarket, butadultvaccinesareexpectedtogainanincreasedmarketshare(BusinessInsights2005).Specifically, vaccinesforinfluenza,hepatitis,andsexuallytransmitteddiseasesareprojectedtodrivegrowthinthe future.