GlaxoSmithKline has signed a joint venture agreement with Daiichi Sankyo Co. to develop Japan’s largest vaccine company.

The joint venture, which will launch in July, will hold the development and commercial rights for existing vaccines such as GSK’s cervical cancer vaccine Cervarix and Daiichi’s seasonal flu vaccine.

The companies’ plan also calls for the joint development and quick launch of products not available in Japan, such as a shingles vaccine, as well as mumps, Diphtheria Pertussis and Measles Rubella vaccines.

There will be a minimal total cash investment of 100 million Yen (£800,000) split equally between the two companies to cover the start up capital requirements of the JV, in which each company will hold a 50% stake.

Christophe Weber, president designate of GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines said, "This collaboration marks another step in our strategy to build our presence in key growth markets and will create the first and largest company dedicated solely to vaccines in Japan.
"We are very pleased to be partnering with Daiichi Sankyo, a highly regarded company and an established leader in Japan. Both companies have strong track records in commercialisation and, in combination, will create further significant economies of scale in the development and distribution of vaccines in the Japanese market," Weber added.


Caption: The JV calls for the development of vaccines to prevent viruses such as measles, seasonal flu and Diphtheria Pertussis. Credit: piyaphantawong