Skyzoster, the first shingles vaccine domestically developed by SK Bioscience, has steadily expanded its market share since its launch in December of 2017, the company said on Wednesday.
|SK Bioscience's shingles vaccine Skyzoster|
After making a successful debut with sales of about 30 billion won ($25.1 million) last year, Skyzoster recorded sales of 7.6 billion won in the first quarter of this year, according to data from IQVIA, a global health research firm.
SK has drastically increased sales based on the vaccine's safety, the company said. The treatment is an inactivated vaccine, consisting of virus particles, bacteria, or other pathogens that have been grown in culture and then killed, reducing infectivity and making it safer than live attenuated vaccines, it added.
Skyzoster’s first-quarter sales dropped 11.6 percent compared to the same period last year, but the product has established itself as a competitor to MSD's Zostavax, the world's first shingles vaccine. Skyzoster increased its market share to 38.9 percent in the first quarter, up 8.5 percent from the previous quarter.
Faced with the rapid market penetration by Skyzoster, the market share of Zostavax, which had previously dominated the market, is steadily decreasing. Zostavax's sale in the first quarter of this year was 12 billion won, down 25.3 percent from a year earlier.
It is unsure, however, how long that SK will be able to compete successfully in the local shingles market, as GlaxoSmithKline is preparing to launch its shingles vaccine Shingrix, in Korea.
The company's varicella-zoster virus vaccine has shown more than 90 percent efficacy in clinical trials, higher cost-effectiveness, and the prevention of herpes zoster when compared with the live zoster vaccine Zostavax or no vaccination.
SK Bioscience has not released the efficacy of its shingles vaccine, and market sources say its effectiveness does not match that of Shingrix. Because of its efficacy, GSK is having problems meeting the demand for the vaccine in the U.S. and EU.
Because of the supply shortage in those countries, the shingles vaccine market in Korea may remain unaffected for some time. Initially, GSK Korea expected the launch of Shingrix in Korea from 2018 to 2019.
With the absence of Shingrix, a strong competitor, in the local market, experts expect that SK Bioscience and MSD will be sharing the market for some time.