U.S. drugmaker Pfizer (NYSE:EFP) is set to launch its respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine for both older adults and pregnant women in the United States and Europe later this year, its executives announced Thursday.
Both Pfizer and British pharmaceutical company GSK (LON:GSK) have RSV vaccines that they hope to launch in the U.S. and Europe this year, pending regulatory approval.
Kena Swanson, head of viral vaccine research and development at Pfizer, told a press conference at the company’s largest manufacturing and packaging facility worldwide: “We anticipate approval in both the U.S. and Europe in time for the fall launch.”
RSV is a leading cause of pneumonia in infants and the elderly, and decades of research have finally resulted in the two vaccines that Pfizer and GSK are rushing to introduce.
About 14,000 people die annually in the U.S. from the lower respiratory disease caused by the virus, and analysts predict a multibillion-dollar market for the vaccine by the end of the decade.
GSK told Reuters on Wednesday it is also prepared to roll out its RSV vaccine to older adults in the U.S. this year without supply constraints.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to make a decision on the approval of both vaccines in May.