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May 29, 2013

GSK to acquire vaccine technology company Okairos

UK-based pharmaceutical major GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has purchased Switzerland-based vaccine company Okairos in a deal worth €250m.

By Liam Stoker

UK-based pharmaceutical major GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has purchased Switzerland-based vaccine company Okairos in a deal worth €250m.

GSK will now look to utilise Okairos’ vaccine platform technology to develop new classes of therapeutic vaccines, providing a timely boost for the company’s biologics division.

"GSK will take full ownership of Okairos, and will supplement its current vaccine pipeline by acquiring early-stage assets for diseases including hepatitis C, malaria, tuberculosis, ebola and HIV."

The technology platform, which has been tested on more than 700 people to date, uses viruses to deliver genetic material to cells in the human body, triggering a response from the immune system.

GSK will take full ownership of Okairos, and will supplement its current vaccine pipeline by acquiring early-stage assets for diseases including hepatitis C, malaria, tuberculosis, ebola and HIV.

GSK Vaccines president Christophe Weber said; "This is a fantastic opportunity for patients and our research organisation as it is expected to contribute to the development efforts for an exciting new generation of vaccines."

A GSK statement added that the company expects the acquisition to enable the company to develop the next generation of vaccines, whilst also complimenting "GSK’s existing vaccine technology and expertise."

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