GSK has signed an agreement with the Gavi Alliance (GAVI) to supply up to 300 million doses of its vaccine Synflorix in a bid to save millions of children suffering from invasive pneumococcal disease in the world’s poorest countries.

GSK will supply up to 300 million doses of its vaccine to guard against the disease, which is regarded as the leading cause of death in children under the age of five in developing countries.

The agreement is funded through the Advance Market Commitment (AMC), which will enable investment over time to reduce the medicine cost and is the result of years of planning by GAVI, UNICEF, the World Bank and major donors.

GSK CEO Andrew Witty said that the typical 15-20 year ‘vaccine gap’ between access in developed countries versus the world’s poorest countries is unacceptable.

“This AMC means children in Africa will start to receive Synflorix this year,” Witty said.

The AMC has been financed by GAVI, five donor countries – the UK, Canada, Russia, Norway and Italy – and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.