UK-based pharmaceutical major GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to acquire Shenzhen Neptunus’ remaining 51% stake in joint venture company Shenzhen GSK-Neptunus Biologicals.

Shenzhen GSK-Neptunus Biologicals focuses on the development and production of influenza vaccines for the Chinese market

The decision to completely acquire the joint venture company marks GlaxoSmithKline intention to expand its vaccine presence in the country.

GlaxoSmithKline China vice-president and general manager John Lepore said, “Today’s announcement represents an expansion of GlaxoSmithKline’s long-term commitment to vaccine supply, manufacturing and development in China.”

GlaxoSmithKline originally took a 40% equity share in June 2009 when the company was established, but increased that stake to 49% in August 2010.

The £24m acquisition still needs to be approved by Chinese authorities.