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GSK forms Indian vaccine research joint venture

Will work with local firm Biological E on six-in-one combination vaccine

GSK - logo on buildingGlaxoSmithKline has formed a joint venture with Hyderabad-based firm Biological E to develop a six-in-one combination paediatric vaccine for children in India and other developing countries.

The early-stage research and development collaboration aims to combine GSK's injectable polio vaccine (IPV) with Biological E's pentavalent vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and haemophilus influenzae type b.

Vijay Kumar Datla, chairman of Biological E, said: “We expect to leverage this partnership to accelerate the development of the hexavalent vaccine and make IPV accessible for developing countries in the post eradication phase for polio. We hope to continue playing our part in support of the public health community.”

India has made remarkable strides to tackle polio and, after having had more cases of the disease than any other country in 2009, this January it celebrated one year with no new cases of polio recorded.

Nevertheless polio remains endemic in three countries - Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan - and transmission of the disease has re-started in the previously polio-free countries of Angola, Chad and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

GSK and Biological E's combination vaccine is expected to enter phase I trials within the next two years and, if approved, could become the first vaccine of its kind to reach the market.

It has a fully liquid formulation that mean the vaccine could be ready to use without the need for additional ingredients or materials, freeing up space at local storage facilities. 

Christophe Weber, president of GSK Vaccines, said “This agreement is fully aligned to GSK's vision of providing high quality vaccines to those in need and by leveraging Biological E's strengths, this particular vaccine has the potential to be play a significant role in the fight against polio.”

In recent years GSK has been investing significantly in research in India as part of its plans to make the country its global hub for clinical R&D in vaccines.

Its 50-50 joint venture with Biological E will see the partners share development costs for the candidate vaccine. There will be a small initial cash investment made by both companies to cover start-up costs, while subsequent development costs will then be split equally.

28th January 2013

From: Research

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