healthcare stock

Why Are Investors Scrambling For Hep-B Stocks? SCIVAC THERAPEUTICS INC (OTCMKTS:SVACF), Opko Health Inc. (NYSE:OPK), Arbutus Biopharma Corp (NASDAQ: ABUS)

Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus, also known as HBV. Its main symptom is chronic or acute inflammation of the liver. Experts in the department of healthcare estimate that over two billion people are affected with the HBV virus around the world. Every year, 600,000 people die from HBV and its liver-related diseases. However, the HBsAg vaccines have reduced the growth of the disease over the last twenty years. Even then, how effective the vaccine is in adults is still in question. Researches expect that the popularity of pediatric combination vaccines, along with nannies specifically for high-risk adults, will aid in the marketplace for the future.

With such a high number of people being infected, with HBV, the market is expected to increase over the next six years. Its been projected that the market will increase in value at a CAGR of 2.3% from $2.9 billion to $3.5 billion. This would mean a compounded annual growth rate of 2.3% according to a new study. Market analysts state that this rise will be the result of eight huge markets: the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan. These will be the main markets because of a high influx of immigrants from lower-class countries.

According to GBI Research analyst  Priyatham Salimadugu, “The US, which has one of the largest shares of the HBV treatment market, sees considerable migration from high-prevalence countries, such as the Philippines, China, and Vietnam. While immigration will enlarge the patient pool, HBV treatment market expansion will be restricted by prophylactic vaccination in the US and much of Europe.”

However, Salimadugu also mentioned that the increasing use of therapies tenofovir and entecavir will be of great help to the rising market over the next couple of years. Even though this market is strong, the “global late-stage pipeline” is not so much because of the lack of innovative products and priority for late-stage sufferers.

Here is a look at what else Salimadugu has to say: “The products in late-stage development are either mostly generic, biosimilar or an alternative salt formulation, such as GS-7340, which is a different salt… As a result, apart from GS-7340, which will capture Viread’s prescription share, the pipeline products are not going to impact the market by 2021.”

“Furthermore, overall low diagnosis and treatment rates due to the asymptomatic nature of the condition and a lack of awareness, coupled with current drugs serving the market adequately, will hinder further growth. Leading brands treating the condition are also facing competition from generic drugs as major patents approach expiry,” he concluded.

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