GSK partners with China's largest vaccine company to promote Shingrix

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GSK partners with China's largest vaccine company to promote Shingrix
Credit: © Reuters.

British pharmaceutical company GSK PLC (LSE:GSK) has partnered with Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Ltd, China's largest vaccine company, to co-promote its shingles prevention treatment, Shingrix. The three-year exclusive contract, worth GBP 2.5 billion (GBP 1 = $1.21), will commence on January 1, according to an announcement made on Monday.

Under the terms of the agreement, Zhifei will be the exclusive importer and distributor of Shingrix in China. This partnership is expected to significantly expand Shingrix's reach to more Chinese adults. GSK will also raise awareness about the need for shingles vaccination among healthcare professionals in community health centers and hospital settings.

Luke Miels, CCO of GSK, stated that this collaboration aligns with GSK's focus on products that offer a high and durable level of differentiation. The partnership could potentially extend to include GSK’s respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, Arexvy.

This development led to a 0.7% increase in GSK's shares on Monday.

Shingrix is a non-live, recombinant subunit vaccine approved in May 2019 to combat age-related immunity decline in individuals aged 50 and above. It is not intended for primary varicella infection prevention. Despite estimates suggesting that there will be 570 million people over the age of 50 in China by 2030, only 1.2% of this population had been vaccinated against shingles by June 2023.

Shingles, or herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). The disease presents as a painful rash with blisters and can lead to post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), which occurs in 5-30% of all cases.

The RSV vaccine, Arexvy, was approved by the US FDA on May 3, 2023, to prevent lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD). It later received authorization from the European Commission and Japan's Ministry of Health but is not yet approved in China. RSV is a common virus that affects the lungs and breathing passages in older adults, potentially exacerbating conditions like COPD, asthma, and chronic heart failure leading to severe outcomes like pneumonia and hospitalization.

In another recent development, GSK's shingles vaccine Shingrix was positively listed by Australia's National Immunization Program on Monday, marking progress in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology space. This development is among the exclusive features accessible to registered users through a free trial, offering insights and commentary from industry experts.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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