For relatively simple vaccine technologies with low annual demand, a margin of error lessened the impact of such decisions––a
single fermenter might have been able to meet the entire annual demand for the vaccine and still have excess capacity. But
manufacturing decisions will have a greater impact on the economics of new vaccines with more complex production processes
and demand levels of, say, 25 million doses. For example, companies need to consider the manufacturing and capacity costs
of various combinations of dosage and adjuvants for a new vaccine. In most cases, the efficiency of the manufacturing process
will change the cost-benefit ratio of the drug, so manufacturing engineers need to have a say earlier in the development process.
If antigen expression and yields are high, larger dosages will have a limited impact on capacity and cost. But the converse
is also true (see "Product Design and Manufacturing Economics").
Product Design and Manufacturing Economics
Product features and operational realities affect cost and capacity, so companies need to link marketing, product design,
and operations—even choosing a different technology, adjuvant, or dosage—in order to benefit the economics of the vaccine.
A Crowded Schedule
The new wave of vaccine products represents enormous profit potential for companies and investors, as well as the opportunity
to benefit millions of people. But companies will need to rethink their strategies and go-to-market approaches. That's what
it will take to keep the vaccine market hot.
Andrew Pasternak, a Chicago-based director, Adam Sabow, a Chicago-based principal, and Andrew Chadwick-Jones, a London-based principal, are with Mercer Management Consulting. They can be reached at email@example.com