Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK), GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (GSK): Shot of Good News for This Vaccine Maker

Page 1 of 2

The Centers for Disease Control recently released a study showing that the introduction of human papillomavirus vaccines has significantly reduced infection rates among teenaged girls. That’s good news for the manufacturers of the only two HPV vaccines approved in the United States: Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s Gardasil and GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)’s Cervarix.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)

The global HPV vaccine market has recently swayed towards one of these companies — but what does that mean for its financial health?

Effective vaccinations

HPV is an extremely common sexually transmitted disease. There are numerous types of HPV and many simply work themselves out of the body without symptoms. But other types can cause genital warts or cancer.

The new study was purposefully zoomed in on the types of HPV covered under the vaccines. There are over a dozen types of high risk HPV that can cause some form of cancer. Two types –16 and 18 – cause more than 70% of all cervical cancer cases. And those are the types that both Gardasil and Cervarix cover.

The study showed a 56% decrease in infection rates for those two types of HPV in teenaged females between the ages of 14 and 19 — historically the target patient group for the vaccines. That’s a significant drop considering Gardasil didn’t hit the U.S. market until 2006.

And the reduction happened despite relatively poor adherence to the vaccine regimen, which requires a trio of injections. According to USA Today, 46% of young women receiving the vaccine stop at the first dose and only 32% finished the process.

The United States has a lower rate of HPV vaccinations than other countries such as Japan and Australia, which have stronger enrollment programs. But the evidence of how well the vaccines are working could send more patients to the doctor for vaccination.

Future growth?

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) would see the most gains from an influx of vaccination patients. Gardasil is approved for two more HPV types than Cervarix. And Gardasil received Food and Drug Administration approval for vaccinating men against HPV to help protect against various types of cancer including anal and penile.

Gardasil’s sales grew 35% last year to $1.6 billion while Cervarix sales fell 46% to around $412 million. Cervarix will continue to fall without broader indications — especially now that the U.K.’s National Health Service has switched its official recommendation from Cervarix to Gardasil. And both drugs could suffer if Japan’s current investigation into the safety issues of the vaccines turns out to be anything other than caution.

So Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s winning the vaccine race. But how dependent are the companies on having a successful product in this space?

Drug dependence

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s limping after the patent expiration of Singulair, the $4 billion asthma and allergy medication. Without Singulair, Gardasil becomes Merck’s fourth best-selling drug. The company’s product portfolio is a bit hit-and-miss and an established growth opportunity can go a long way in promoting investor confidence.

Page 1 of 2

Biotech Stock Alert - 20% Guaranteed Return in One Year

Hedge Funds and Insiders Are Piling Into

One of 2015's best hedge funds and two insiders snapped up shares of this medical device stock recently. We believe its transformative and disruptive device will storm the $3+ billion market and help it achieve 500%-1000% gains in 3 years.

Get your FREE REPORT and the details of our 20% return guarantee today.

Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.
Loading Comments...

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 102% in 3 years!! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!