Monday, September 12, 2005

GSK continues apace with flu vaccine empire building

08/09/2005 - If there was any doubt that GlaxoSmithKline aims to become the premier world supplier of influenza vaccine, it should be laid to rest by yesterday’s news that the number two drugmaker is buying Canadian company ID Biomedical.

The move follows the company's decision to buy a facility from Wyeth in the US that will be turned over to flu vaccine production, as well as its announcement that it will double production at a flu vaccine facility in Dresden, Germany,
Until last year, the flu vaccine market was split mainly between two players – Chiron and Sanofi Pasteur – with other players lagging well behind the leaders. Now, the manufacturing problems that have beset Chiron and led to vaccine shortages in the 2004/5 flu season have opened up the market, and GSK itself has benefited with approval of its own Fluarix vaccine by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under a special fast-track system.

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