GSK extends pneumococcal vaccine agreement with GAVI Alliance
Issued: Friday 16 December 2011, London UK
GSK today announced it has expanded its agreement with the GAVI Alliance in a move to help protect millions more children in the world‟s poorest countries from pneumococcal disease. Pneumococcal disease can lead to pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis and is a leading cause of death in children under the age of five in developing countries.
Under this new agreement, GSK commits to provide an additional 180 million doses of its pneumococcal vaccine, Synflorix, to GAVI over the next 12 years to help expand immunisation programmes against pneumococcal disease to 72 developing countries by 2023.
This builds on the 300 million doses that GSK committed to GAVI in March 2010 through an innovative financing mechanism known as the Advance Market Commitment (AMC). In total, up to 160 million children in developing countries could now be protected with Synflorix against pneumococcal disease by 2023.
Today's announcement follows GAVI's recent decision to support the introduction of pneumococcal vaccination in an additional 18 countries, bringing the total number of countries currently supported by GAVI to 37 countries.
Jean Stéphenne, Chairman of GSK Biologicals said: "By stepping up our contribution of Synflorix to GAVI, we can help ensure there is enough pneumococcal vaccine available to meet the increasing demand across the world. We are committed to playing our part in addressing healthcare challenges in developing countries, which includes adopting new strategies to help accelerate access to vaccines for diseases such polio, rotavirus, measles and pneumococcal around the world. Vaccines are one the most effective ways to improve public health and the economical development of these countries. Increasing vaccination means more children will be able to live healthy lives."
More than 90% of deaths due to pneumococcal disease occur in developing countries where children frequently do not have access to pneumococcal vaccination or early treatment.1
GSK has been a long-standing partner with GAVI and continues to supply more than 80% of its total vaccine volumes to developing countries. In June 2011, GSK made a new offer to supply its rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix, to GAVI at a small fraction of developed world prices. It is estimated that more than half a million children worldwide die of rotavirus gastroenteritis each year - the equivalent of one child per minute worldwide2 - and it is responsible for the hospitalisation of millions more.3 Rotavirus related diarrhoea, and pneumococcal disease are two leading childhood killers in developing countries.4,5
GSK has committed to provide the additional 180 million doses of Synflorix to GAVI at a small fraction of developed world prices.
Notes to editors
Synflorix helps protect against diseases due to pneumococcus. It contains 10 serotypes, three of which - serotype 1, 5, and 14 - were required to be included in the vaccine for the AMC due to the high burden of invasive diseases caused by these serotypes in the developing world.
Over the next 12 years, GSK has committed to provide 480 million doses of Synflorix. To date, more than 12 million doses have been delivered in Ethiopia and Kenya. Kenya was the first African country to include pneumococcal vaccines in its national immunization programme under the AMC. Ethiopia represents to date the largest introduction of pneumococcal vaccines under the AMC.
GSK has invested more than US$400 million in a dedicated manufacturing plant in Singapore that will produce several hundred million doses of the vaccine annually in the coming years.
Synflorix was the first pneumococcal vaccine to receive WHO "prequalification" for global use, a regulatory endorsement that is a precondition for participation in the AMC.6
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Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
Under the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect GSK' s operations are described under 'Risk Factors' in the 'Business Review' in the company' s Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2010.