Prevnar 13 (a vaccine for the prevention of pneumococcal
disease) is one of the most important products in Pfizer's (
) portfolio. The vaccine performed impressively in the second
quarter of 2014 with sales being positively impacted by government
purchasing patterns and higher demand.
Pfizer received some more encouraging news on Prevnar 13 earlier in
the week with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
(CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
recommending the routine use of the vaccine in patients aged 65
years and above for the prevention of pneumococcal disease
including pneumonia caused by the 13 pneumococcal serotypes
contained in the vaccine. The panel is in favor of the reevaluation
of its above recommendation in 2018.
Specifically, the advisory panel recommended immunization by a dose
of Prevnar 13, followed by a dose of Merck's (
) Pneumovax 23 in elders who have not received pneumococcal vaccine
before. This recommendation is also applicable for patients whose
history of vaccination is not known. The panel also recommended the
use of Prevnar 13 in patients who have already received at least
one dose of Merck's vaccine.
Pfizer stated in its press release that the advisory panel's
recommendations will be forwarded to the director of the CDC and
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for review and
subsequent approval. We note that Prevnar 13 is already available
for use in younger patients. Approval in patients aged 65 and above
would further increase the drug's sales potential.
Pfizer is looking to strengthen its vaccines portfolio. To that
end, the pharmaceutical behemoth inked a deal with Baxter
) last month to buy the latter's portfolio of marketed vaccines.
Baxter International Falls as Pfizer Acquires
Pfizer carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked large cap
pharma stock is AstraZeneca (
) which holds a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy).
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