GSK and Neptunus form joint venture for the co-development of flu vaccines

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has signed an exclusive Cooperation Agreement with Shenzhen Neptunus Interlong Bio-Technique Co. Ltd. (NIBT) as a preliminary step in forming a Joint Venture (JV) between the two companies. The agreement outlines the proposed terms for establishing a JV company, which will seek to co-develop seasonal influenza vaccines and pre-pandemic/pandemic influenza vaccines, firstly targeting against strains of the virus specific to China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Jean St├ęphenne, President and General Manager of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, commented, "This collaboration marks another step in our strategy to build our vaccines presence in critical emerging markets, such as China. The Joint Venture 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. We are pleased to bring our technologies and expertise for new vaccines for the benefit of Chinese public health."

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 US$31 million in return for a 40% stake in the JV, whilst NIBT will contribute the equivalent of US$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.

GSK Biologicals - GSK's vaccine business, GSK Biologicals, is one of the world's leading vaccine manufacturers and has a global presence with established sites, alliances or JV's in 14 sites worldwide to date.

GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.