GlaxoSmithKline has announced that it is expanding its ability to increase vaccines supplies for Americans by acquiring a vaccine research and production facility in Marietta, Pennsylvania. This acquisition adds to the company's growing vaccines presence in the United States, following GSK's recent purchase of Corixa Corporation, a developer of innovative vaccine adjuvants that increase immune response.
"GlaxoSmithKline can help boost the availability of vaccines for Americans in the future by growing our research and manufacturing capacity in Pennsylvania and the United States today," said JP Garnier, Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline. "We are working hand-in-hand with government officials to help meet public health needs by expanding our capabilities as a reliable supplier of vaccines for the US."
Garnier continued: "We expect to develop new flu vaccine technology at our Marietta facility that we hope will enhance our future ability to rapidly produce flu vaccines for the nation in response to a pandemic. This new technology will complement our current egg-based flu vaccine manufacturing."
The 90-acre manufacturing site in Marietta, PA, previously owned by Wyeth, will be used to help develop the next generation of vaccines for GlaxoSmithKline. The Marietta site also will focus on the development and production of tissue culture technology that will be used for seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines.
GSK expects to use the Marietta site for the secondary production of several new vaccines for distribution in the US market, following their approval by the FDA. The site has freeze-drying capabilities that will be used to enhance the shelf life and stability of a number of the company's vaccines.
Terms of the acquisition are confidential. Once a new flu vaccine based on tissue culture is successfully developed by GSK, the company plans to make further investments at the Marietta plant. GSK expects to employ approximately 270 people at the Marietta site.
"I am pleased that GSK will be reopening the Marietta facility, thanks in great part to the support of Governor Rendell and his staff, as well as that of other state, federal and local officials," Garnier said.