Many experts in the healthcare and drug space are predicting that due to the recent Ebola scare, the vaccine will be the next 1 Billion dollar drug. The widespread fear and panic caused by Ebola will likely motivate governments to begin stockpiling the vaccine as soon as it becomes available to prevent any future widespread outbreaks.
The main problem though, is there is currently not a cure for Ebola. Sure there have been a few experimental drugs that were used to create the isolated cases but the main drug companies are working feverishly to produce a mainstream set of vaccines and treatments – before the panic dies down.
The US Government alone would be expected to issue contracts for more than 1 Billion worth of the Ebola medication once it is completed. Based on other governments spending to stockpile vaccines for other viruses the 1B estimate is not too much of a stretch.
Johnson & Johnson Boosts Ebola Efforts
According to Johnson & Johnson, they are currently accelerating the Ebola vaccine efforts they are working on. They are at a stage where they can upscale the vaccine compared to strong data on animal studies. The vaccine would require an initial shot followed up with a booster.
All of the vaccinated animals were protected and lived where as the non-vaccinated animals did not survive.
Over the past few weeks, Johnson & Johnson produced over 140K vaccines. They next need to show safety in humans and perform some additional testing.
A Sense of Urgency
Due to the sense of urgency, Johnson & Johnson may combine forces with rival Glaxo Smith Kline in order to expedite the vaccine production.
Ebola compared to Aids
Currently they don’t predict Ebola to become as widespread as Aids. The critical nature of Ebola is due to the fact that it can kill you in a month compared to HIV which can live dormant in the body and you could even live a normal life even with the HIV virus.
Investing in Ebola Vaccines
Some companies to watch for if you’re looking to make some money on Ebola are:
- Tekmira Pharmaceuticals (TKMR)
- Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT)
- BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX).