GSK and Biological E form JV to develop combination vaccine


Six-in-one paediatric vaccine will be developed for India and other developing countries

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has teamed up with Indian vaccines developer Biological E for the early stage research and development of a six-in-one combination paediatric vaccine to help protect children in India and other developing countries.

Under the 50:50 joint venture (JV), both companies will develop a six-in-one vaccine for polio and other infectious diseases, reinforcing their commitment to work with the World Health Organisation to eradicate polio.

If approved, the vaccine, which would combine GSK’s injectable polio vaccine (IPV) and Hyderabad-based Biological E’s pentavalent vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (whole cell pertussis), hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type b, could be the first of its kind. The vaccine would mean fewer injections for children thereby improving compliance in immunisation schedules. The fully liquid formulation of the vaccine also means it would be ready to use with no additional ingredients or materials required, freeing up space at local storage facilities.

The JV will bear the development costs for the candidate vaccine, which is expected to enter Phase 1 development in the next two years. A small initial cash investment will be made by both companies to cover start-up costs for the JV and subsequent development costs will be split equally.

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 play a significant role in the fight against polio.’

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Completion of the transaction is expected during 2013, subject to several conditions including regulatory approval of the JV.