GlaxoSmithKline Forms Joint Venture With Jiangsu

LONDON (AP) -- Drugs maker GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Jiangsu Walvax Biotech Company said Tuesday they are forming a joint venture to develop and produce pediatric vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) in China.

GSK said it would transfer technology for other vaccines to be produced by the joint venture, in which it would hold a 65 percent interest and would initially invest 20.1 million pounds ($30 million). It would invest a further 7.3 million pounds in 2015.

Walvax will invest a total of 13.8 million pounds, the announcement said.

Jiangsu Walvax is an affiliate of Yunnan Walvax Biotech Co., Ltd., China's second-largest manufacturer of Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) conjugate vaccine.

"This collaboration will allow Walvax and GSK to produce lifesaving vaccines to help meet China's need for MMR vaccines," said Liu Hong-Yan, Chairman of Walvax. "The JV will strengthen our vaccine R&D efforts and build our capacity to increase children's access to vaccines, one of the most cost-effective health interventions available."

In June, GlaxoSmithKline also signed an agreement with Chinese biotech company Shenzhen Neptunus Interlong Bio-Technique Co., Ltd. to develop and manufacture flu vaccines.

GSK shares were up 0.9 percent at 1,230 pence on the London Stock Exchange.

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