Vaccines have been in use since decades to provide immunological responses against diseases. A conventional vaccine is a biological preparation of weakened or attenuated, killed forms of a microbe or one of its cellular components, while a DNA vaccine is composed of genetically engineered DNA. When a DNA vaccine is injected into the cells of an organism, it stimulates organism’s immune system to produce immunity against the encoded antigens.
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DNA vaccines have a number of advantages over conventional vaccines such as when a conventional vaccine is administered, it activates only antibody reaction while a DNA vaccine activates antibody as well as cell mediated reaction. This new generation vaccine also offers fewer side effects compared to conventional vaccines.
The market for DNA vaccines is segmented into human DNA vaccines and animals DNA vaccines market. Currently there are no approved DNA vaccines for human but more than 100 products are under clinical trial for a variety of diseases including HIV infection, cancer and infectious diseases. Pennsylvania based Inovio Pharmaceuticals has it’s Syncon brand of vaccines in clinical trial for a variety of cancers and infectious diseases.
On the other hand there are three DNA vaccines approved for animal health. The first vaccine was approved in the year 2005 for use in horses against West Nile Virus. Some of the pipeline DNA vaccines developed by Vical are Apex IHN for infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus and ONCEPT for melanoma in dogs.
The global market for DNA vaccines is growing impressively under the influence of advantages associated with this new generation of vaccines such as fewer side effects, ease of development and lower cost and continued development in biotechnology arena. The human health segment is expected to grow at relatively higher CAGR compared to animal health segment. Some of the notable companies operating in this market are Novartis Animal Health, Inovio Biomedical Corp, Merck & Co., Dendreon Corporation, Astellas Pharma, Vical, Sanofi and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals.
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