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GEN News Highlights : Oct 6, 2009

GSK Furthers Interest in China through Pediatric Vaccines JV with Initial $32M Investment

JV with WalVax will allow local manufacture of GSK’s MMR vaccine.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Chinese company Jiangsu Walvax Biotech agreed to establish a long-term joint venture (JV) focused on developing and manufacturing pediatric vaccines in China. The enterprise aims to produce vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), like GSK’s Priorix™, and potentially other indications.

The new JV will be owned 65% by GSK and 35% by Walvax. GSK will make a £20.1 million (about $32.03 million) investment at the JV’s incorporation and another £7.3 million (about $11.63 million) investment in 2015. Walvax will commit a total of £13.8 million (about $21.99 million) to the venture.

GSK will also transfer technology that will eventually enable the manufacture of relevant vaccines locally. The JV will build a new manufacturing plant for GSK’s pediatric vaccine, Priorix. Once the facility is operational, the JV will supply the vaccine to the Chinese market.

Jiangsu Walvax was established in April 2009 as an affiliate of Chinese vaccines company Yunnan Walvax Biotech, which the company says is the country's second largest manufacturer of Haemophilus influenza type b conjugate vaccine.

In June GSK agreed to invest £21 million for a 40% stake in another Chinese vaccines JV with Shenzhen Neptunus Interlong Bio-Technique. This JV is focused on developing and manufacturing vaccines against seasonal, prepandemic, and pandemic influenza for China, Hong Kong, and Macau. GSK says that it expects to purchase additional shares and obtain a majority equity interest in the JV within the next two years.