Merck and GSK to Face New Rival in Cervical Cancer Vaccine Market

September 2, 2022

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As the world’s largest vaccine maker, the Serum Institute of India is set to launch a home-grown shot against cervical cancer, posing a new challenge to Merck($NYSE:MRK) and GlaxoSmithKline in the global market. Cervical cancer is the fourth most prevalent cancer type among females globally, and the World Health Organization estimates that it led to 604,000 new cases and 342,000 deaths in 2020. SII Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla said that the indigenously developed vaccine would make India self-sufficient in curbing female mortality caused by cervical cancer. He added that the vaccine would be available for sale in a few months, first in India and then globally.

Stock Price

On Thursday, Merck & Co. stock opened at $85.6 and closed at $87.2, up by 2.1% from previous closing price of $85.4. If approved, it would be the first HPV vaccine to protect against all four types of the virus. Merck’s current HPV vaccine, Gardasil, only protects against two types of HPV. GSK’s current vaccine, Cervarix, only protects against two other types. The new vaccine could pose a significant challenge to Merck and GSK, as it would be the only HPV vaccine on the market that protects against all four types of the virus.

VI Analysis

Companies with strong fundamentals are typically seen as having a long-term potential. This is because their financial position reflects their ability to weather any storms and emerge relatively unscathed. The VI Star Chart is a great tool for assessing a company’s health. MERCK & has a high health score of 7/10, which means it is capable of safely riding out any crisis without the risk of bankruptcy. MERCK & is classified as a ‘gorilla’. This is a type of company that has achieved stable and high revenue or earnings growth due to its strong competitive advantage. High growth companies are generally seen as more risky as they attempt to grow faster. However, MERCK & is strong in dividend, profitability, and medium in asset, growth. This indicates that it is a well-rounded company with a solid foundation.


The new player is Japanese drugmaker, Eisai, which has announced that it will begin clinical trials of its own cervical cancer vaccine later this year. The news comes as a blow to Merck and GSK, who are both working on their own vaccines for the disease. Cervical cancer is a major problem in developing countries, where it is one of the leading causes of death in women. However, they now face stiff competition from Eisai. It remains to be seen who will come out on top in this race to develop a new cervical cancer vaccine.

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