Glaxo thinks big with joint Japanese vaccines venture

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The Independent Online

GlaxoSmithKline, Britain's biggest drug maker, yesterday set out plans for a joint venture with Tokyo-based Daiichi Sankyo that will make it the largest vaccines company in Japan.

The 50-50 venture between Glaxo and Daiichi, which is the third-biggest pharmaceuticals company in Japan, will see new vaccines entering the Japanese market, which is known for its slow acceptance of drugs.

The business, to be called Japan Vaccine Co, will sell Glaxo and Daiichi Sankyo existing vaccines, including GSK's cervical cancer jab Cervarix, Daiichi's seasonal flu vaccine, and a mumps, measles and rubella vaccine, with the aim of expanding as new jabs in the drug makers' pipelines receive approval from regulators.

The companies are investing ¥100m (£774,000) to cover the start-up costs of the business.

Christophe Weber, the headof vaccines at Glaxo, said: "This collaboration marks another step in our strategy to build our presence in key growth markets."