Gardasil, Merck’s first-in-class cervical cancer vaccine, has achieved worldwide sales for Merck of more than $1.7 billion since its U.S. launch in June 2006. Approved in more than 93 countries, with more pending, Gardasil is one of the leading vaccines in our industry.
The success of Gardasil is proof that Merck’s commitment to vaccines is the right thing to do, not only for public health, but for the company. Merck is one of only a handful of companies still dedicated to vaccine development, a commitment that has continued despite the ever-increasing complexity of vaccine discovery, development and production.
The work that led to Gardasil, for example, represents a new approach to vaccine development. It involved academic, government and small biotech research companies, as well as Merck researchers. And it used the newest biotechnology tools to unlock the complex secrets to developing this HPV vaccine.
The contribution our vaccine commitment is making to our business and to public health is just beginning. Currently indicated for girls and young women ages 9 to 26, in 2007 we filed for FDA approval of Gardasil for vaginal and vulvar cancers, as well as approval for 27- to 45-year-old women to use Gardasil. And in 2008, we expect to file for approval of the vaccine in males ages 9 to 26.
A Growing Global Vaccine Market
By the end of this decade, the global vaccine market is expected to grow to $18 billion – more than double what it was in 2004 – and Merck is leading this growth. Gardasil isn’t the only successful new Merck vaccine driving this growth. Zostavax and RotaTeq, along with Varivax, have increased Merck’s global vaccine sales nearly four-fold since 2005.
7 million girls and young women have received at least their first dose