June 20, 2024

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GSK’s new RSV jab set to achieve blockbuster status

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GSK is expected to achieve blockbuster status for its months-old RSV vaccine this week, stealing a march on rival Pfizer and begin allaying long-standing investor concerns about its pipeline.

More than a fifth of adults over 60 in the US have received a vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus — an infection with cold-like symptoms — in the months since GSK and US rival Pfizer rolled out the first vaccines across the US.

GSK’s vaccine generated £709mn of sales in the third quarter of 2023. Analysts have predicted that it hit the $1bn milestone at which drugs become “blockbusters” in the final quarter of the year. GSK will disclose sales figures when it reports full-year results on Wednesday.

Under Emma Walmsley, chief executive since 2017, GSK has struggled to deliver blockbusters: something that has weighed on the £63bn company’s share price. While rival AstraZeneca’s share price has soared almost 90 per cent over the past 5 years, GSK’s stands only 3 per cent higher.

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Uptake of GSK’s Arexvy jab has far outstripped Pfizer’s Abrysvo so far, raising hopes that the rollout could mark a shift in fortunes for the UK company.

Although the 21.1 per cent uptake of the GSK and Pfizer jabs is comfortably ahead of the 18 per cent forecast by health data provider Airfinity, GSK’s Arexvy jab has accounted for more than two-thirds of doses given.

“I believe Arexvy and the launch there is a major step forward to show how we can perform,” said Rob Truckenmiller, GSK’s senior vice-president for US vaccines.

GSK has long been a frontrunner in vaccine development, with its shingles jab Shingrix providing £3bn in revenues in 2022. However, its failure to produce a Covid-19 jab ahead of rivals…

2024-01-29 00:00:23

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