Subunit vaccines are made by removing the non-immunity producing components of microorganisms (nucleic acid in case of viruses and polysaccharides from bacteria) and retaining a part (specific protein subunit), which stimulates the immune system. Subunit vaccines can be made by genetic engineering techniques or by selecting a part of the whole microorganism. Chances of temporary adverse reactions (for example influenza virus) and lack of replication, which otherwise are caused by the whole microorganisms are greatly reduced due to the presence of only antigens. Examples of subunit vaccines include Hepatitis B (HepB) vaccine, Pneumococcal (PCV-7, PCV-10, PCV-13) vaccine, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine, and Acellular pertussis (aP) vaccine.
The global subunit vaccines market is driven by the cost of production, better safety as compared to traditional vaccines, and presence of pure and well-defined components that improve the immune system. Availability of new generation vaccines, that are based of highly purified synthetic or recombinant antigens of subunit vaccine help in growth of the market to a significant extent during the forecast period. Adjuvant technologies, device technology, formulation development for better efficiency, and demand for non-invasive route of administration optimize the delivery of antigens into the immune system. This is expected to drive demand for subunit vaccines. The substantial number of pharmaceutical challenges associated with the subunit vaccines process of development is projected to restrain the market.
The global subunit vaccines market can be segmented based on product type, production process type, immune responses type, disease type, and region. In terms of product type, the market can be bifurcated into protein antigen and polysaccharide antigen. The protein antigen segment held a large market share in 2016 due to availability and adoptability of protein antigen subunit vaccines in the market. However, the polysaccharide antigen segment is anticipated to witness strong growth during the forecast period owing to technological advancements and high prevalence of bacterial infectious diseases.
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Based on production process type, the global subunit vaccines market can be classified into denaturing of proteins and genetic engineering. The denaturing of proteins segment held a major market share in 2016 owing to the easy and known production process. However, the genetic engineering segment is anticipated to driven by technological advancements in the research & development of the subunit vaccines. In terms of immune responses type, the market can be divided into antigen-presenting cells (APCs), cell-mediated immunity, cytokines (direct Th1 or Th2 immune responses), mucosal, and others. Based on disease type, the market can be segmented into whooping cough (pertussis), diphtheria, tetanus, and others.
Geographically, the global subunit vaccines market can be segmented into Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, North America, and Middle East & Africa. North America held a major share in 2016 owing to increased technological advancements in research & development. The market in Asia Pacific is anticipated to be driven by growing awareness, government initiatives, and availability of subunit vaccines. The market in Europe is also expected to experience strong growth during the forecast period owing to technological development and increasing prevalence of infectious diseases.
Key players in the global subunit vaccines market are Sanofi Pasteur SA, Virbac, Pfizer Inc., and Merck, among others.