mRNA Therapeutics Industry in Crisis: Understanding the Alarming Decline and Its Implications

mRNA Therapeutics Industry in Crisis: Understanding the Alarming Decline and Its Implications


Feb 14, 2024

Blog Biotechnology mRNA Therapeutics Industry in Crisis: Understanding the Alarming Decline and Its Implications

What are mRNA Therapeutics?

mRNA therapeutics refer to a class of medical interventions that utilize messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules to treat, prevent, or diagnose diseases. mRNA is a type of genetic material that plays a crucial role in the cellular process of protein synthesis. mRNA therapeutics have a high-value therapeutic potential to treat deadly chronic diseases, highly infectious viral diseases, and several rare diseases. mRNA therapeutics is a growing niche segment of the RNA therapeutics market brought into focus by the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies are mostly conducting research into mRNA therapeutics. Many of these companies have a robust pipeline of molecules due to the pandemic. The mRNA vaccine against COVID was beneficial in proving its safety and efficacy and hence has laid a foundation for mRNA technology to be used not only for vaccination but also for therapeutic applications. In the past two decades, interest has grown in exploring mRNA-based technology to develop prophylactic vaccines against infectious diseases. Many mRNA are developed for vaccines, which most are currently targeted at COVID. 80% of mRNA vaccines are targeted towards infectious diseases such as coronavirus infection, influenza, HIV, rabies, and RSV. The other 20% of mRNA vaccines are targeting cancer. According to our projections, mRNA: therapeutics and global markets is expected to decline from $33B in 2023 to $21B by the end of 2028. In this blog post, explore the critical factors behind the unexpected downturn in the mRNA therapeutics industry.

Why will mRNA therapeutics market decline in the future?

End of Pandemic (COVID-19)

The global market for mRNA therapeutics is projected to experience a negative compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -8.6% from 2023 to 2028. This decline is attributed to the decreasing sales of COVID-19 vaccines as the pandemic concludes. With the conclusion of the pandemic, the demand for COVID-19 vaccines is expected to diminish, leading to a reduced market share for mRNA therapeutics in various versions. The number of mRNA-based drugs and vaccines have been only limited for the COVID-19 pandemic, apart from that there is no other type of mRNA-based drug or vaccine approved. The COVID vaccine is a unique case, which was produced in a short time span of less than a year and as the need was urgent.

Reduced Funding for mRNA Research

North America was significantly highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, it experienced the highest number of cases and deaths, creating an urgent need for vaccine and therapeutics for its treatment. The U.S. government invested a total of $31.9B on grants and contracts during the pandemic. Most of the funds were used to purchase the vaccine, which accounted for 92% of the total fund allocation. 7% of the total allocation was portioned toward clinical trials and 1% for manufacturing and translation sciences but now In September 2022, U.S. president Joe Biden announced the country will invest only $2B in various segments of biotechnology. Consequently, there will be a decrease in future investments in mRNA research.

mRNA Therapeutics Market Predictions via Top COVID-19 Vaccine Manufacturers

Early in the pandemic, only two major companies manufactured the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, Moderna Inc. and BioNTech/Pfizer Inc. Pfizer, which has partnered with BioNTech, has predicted its sales will decline due to the pandemic ending. This will affect its COVID-19 drug as well as COVID-19 vaccines. Moderna Inc. a leading COVID-19 vaccine company, saw its sales decline from $4.75B in 2022 to $344M in 2023 in second quarter sales. A decline of 94%. Moderna earned $36B from sales of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 and 2022. Sales are expected to decline to $6 to $8B by 2023, due to no demand for the vaccine as the pandemic ends.

mRNA: Therapeutics and Global Markets

The global market for mRNA therapeutics is expected to decline from $33 billion in 2023 to $21 billion by the end of 2028, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -8.6% during the forecast period of 2023-2028.

Top 3 Players in mRNA Vaccine Business

Moderna Inc. - Moderna Inc., founded in 2010, is a biopharmaceutical company focused on mRNA therapeutics. It started as a clinical research company and has transformed into a commercial enterprise, having a portfolio across seven therapeutics. It was among the companies that manufactured vaccines for COVID-19 pandemic based on mRNA.

BioNTech - BioNTech, founded in 2008, is an immunotherapy company pioneering novel medicines for treatment of cancer, infectious diseases, and other diseases. It first-in-class therapeutics, mRNA vaccines and therapeutics, cell and gene therapies, targeted antibodies, and small molecule immunomodulators. BioNTech along with Pfizer manufactured COVID-19 vaccines.

CureVac N.V. - CureVac N.V. is an mRNA drug manufacturing company, has operated in the market for more than 20 years. It uses mRNA technology to produce drugs for various medical purposes. The major therapy areas are prophylactic vaccines, cancer therapies, antibody therapies and the treatment of rare diseases. In 2020, it entered a collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to develop new prophylactic vaccines for infectious diseases. The collaboration was extended to manufacture second-generation COVID-19 vaccines.

In conclusion, the global market for mRNA therapeutics is expected to witness a significant decrease, dropping from $33B in 2023 to $21B by the close of 2028. This decline is indicative of a negative compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -8.6% during the forecast period of 2023-2028. This concise report sheds light on the challenges and potential risks reshaping the future of mRNA-based treatments, offering essential insights for industry stakeholders. The limited availability of mRNA-based drugs and vaccines, primarily focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, contributes to this downturn. Beyond this specific application, there are currently no other approved types of mRNA-based drugs or vaccines, leading to a constrained market scenario. In summary, the outlook for the mRNA therapeutics market points towards a notable contraction primarily due to the limited scope of applications beyond the context of COVID-19.

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    Heena Singh

    Written By Heena Singh

    Heena Singh is a Senior Executive Email Marketer at BCC Research, with a master’s degree in computer applications. She specializes in content creation and data analytics.

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