New firm will initially target strains of flu virus specific to China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
GlaxoSmithKline inked an exclusive cooperation agreement with Shenzhen Neptunus Interlong Bio-Technique (NIBT) as a preliminary step in forming a joint venture (JV). The agreement outlines the proposed terms for establishing a JV company, which will seek to co-develop seasonal influenza vaccines and prepandemic/pandemic influenza vaccines, initially targeting strains of the virus specific to China, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Formation of the JV company will remain conditional until a number of conditions are fulfilled. Upon formation, GSK expects to make a cash contribution of approximately $31 million in return for a 40% stake in the JV, while NIBT will contribute the equivalent of $47 million in assets. Within five years of the establishment of a JV, GSK has the option to increase its equity interest to reach up to a majority position of the JV.
“This collaboration marks another step in our strategy to build our vaccines presence in critical emerging markets such as China,” Jean Stéphenne, president and GM of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, commented. “The JV will combine the potential of GSK’s adjuvant technology and expertise in vaccine development together with NIBT’s extensive experience of the Chinese vaccines market and make use of their access to specific local influenza antigens.”