GSK moves to make good on shingles vaccine commitment

British pharma giant invests US$100 million in vaccine manufacturing facility that makes the company’s shingles vaccine

GlaxoSmithKline has invested $100 million in vaccine production. The money will be used at its manufacturing site in Hamilton, Montana to expand the production capacity of key components of the adjuvant system used in several of GSK's vaccines.

Of the vaccines benefiting will be SHINGRIX, which was approved by the US FDA in October 2017 as a shingles vaccine.

"Shingrix has been met with an unprecedented level of demand from patients and health-care professionals," the company said in a statement in late 2018. "We understand that this is a challenging situation to manage, and GSK is fully committed to expediting resupply throughout 2018. Going forward, providers and patients can feel confident that more doses are being made available."

This move by the company seems to be in line with this mission and increasing its capacity.

Enhancing response

For more than 20 years, GSK has been innovating in adjuvant systems that use a substance which enhances the body's immune response to an antigen. The British pharma giant has developed vaccines to help prevent malaria and shingles that utilise these to help achieve a stronger immune response.

The Hamilton vaccines facility currently manufactures components of GSK's essential adjuvant technologies, which this investment will also expand further.

Jack Bailey, President of US Pharmaceuticals at GSK, said: "By expanding the adjuvant system production capabilities in Hamilton, we will continue to deliver long-term and sustainable supply for key vaccines, including SHINGRIX."

GSK is also dedicated to investing in and supporting communities by creating high-quality jobs in areas like R&D and manufacturing. Over the next few years, the Hamilton site expansion is expected to add a combination of temporary construction and contracting jobs, as well as new permanent positions, including scientists, engineers and manufacturing and quality professionals.

"Thanks to the bi-partisan support of Governor Steve Bullock and the congressional delegation – Sens Jon Tester and Steve Daines and Rep Greg Gianforte – Montana is emerging as a hub for the biotechnology industry," said Bailey. "GSK is grateful for their leadership and the opportunity they have given us to create new jobs and expand our footprint in the state."

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