This Is Driving Merck’s Vaccines Business
The Gardasil franchise is Merck’s (MRK) leading vaccines franchise. Gardasil is a vaccine for the prevention of certain strains of human papillomavirus (or HPV). Total sales of the Gardasil franchise in 2016 were $2.2 billion, an increase of ~14% over $1.9 billion for 2015.
Why is the Gardasil franchise important?
Gardasil is used in the prevention of certain HPV strains that are responsible for causing ~70% of cervical cancer cases, most HPV-induced cancer cases, and genital warts.
The strong performance and presence of Gardasil 9 in the US represent Merck’s strength in securing managed care access as well as the transition of customers to the 9-valent vaccine.
Contribution of Gardasil
Gardasil contributed ~5.4% of Merck’s total revenues in 2016, which is higher than its contribution of ~4.8% in 2015.
Overall vaccines business for Merck
Overall, vaccines sales were ~$5.8 billion in 2016, nearly 9% higher than 2015 vaccines sales of $5.3 billion. The growth was driven by all its products including the Gardasil franchise and Pneumovax.
ProQuad/Varivax also reported growth of 9% in its revenues for 2016 of $1.64 billion as compared to $1.50 billion in 2015. Also, RotaTeq sales rose 7%, while Zostavax sales fell over 9% in 2016.
Merck’s Gardasil competes with GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Cervarix. GlaxoSmithKline has also acquired Novartis’s (NVS) vaccine business to strengthen its vaccines portfolio. Pneumovax competes with Pfizer’s (PFE) blockbuster product Prevnar 13.
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