GSK investors told of crucial new drugs on the way

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The Independent Online

Andrew Witty, the chief executive at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), has privately told leading investors that the pharmaceutical giant's drug pipeline will transform the company.

Sources said that at a dinner with fund managers recently, Mr Witty vowed that GSK's financial performance will be on the up by the end of next year. According to one attendee: "He said in a little over a year we would see just what is in their R&D [research and development] portfolio. He was quite vocal that GSK would be protecting margins."

Publicly, GSK has been careful not to overhype its R&D projects before data is taken from late stages of research, as there are typically more failed than successful drug-test programmes. Also, GSK has remodelled its business over the past three years to ensure that it does not appear to be solely dependent on the success of its pipeline.

The next 14 months will see more than 30 studies on 14 drugs reported. These include drugs to treat cancer, smokers' cough, type 1 diabetes, HIV, Parkinson's, hepatitis C and malaria.

GSK shares closed at 1375p on Friday, down 12p on the start of day's trading. This values the business at around £70bn.