GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Daiichi Sankyo have formed a joint venture that they claim will create the biggest vaccines company in Japan. The joint venture will seek to improve access to vaccinations in Japan, as well as introduce new vaccines and create better and more convenient combination vaccines.
The joint venture will hold the development and commercial rights for the companies’ existing preventative vaccines. It will also supply globally recommended vaccines in Japan including those for Human Papillomavirus, Rotavirus, seasonal flu, mumps, Diphtheria Pertussis, and Measles Rubella. Both companies will sell their respective vaccines into the joint venture at agreed-upon prices and receive sales synergies in return.
In Japan, many vaccines that contribute to disease prevention in other advanced countries are not used. In a statement, the companies explain that the joint venture will combine GSK’s pipeline and technology with Daiichi Sankyo’s knowledge and experience of the Japanese market and logistics to increase access to vaccines for all age groups.
The companies are investing a minimal cash investment of 100 million Yen (approximately $1.2 million) to cover the start-up capital requirements. Profits will be divided equally between the companies with a portion going toward funding ongoing capital needs of the joint venture. The new company will be called Japan Vaccine Co., Ltd., and will commence business on July 2, 2012. As new vaccines in the development pipeline are approved, the joint venture will be expanded.
According to Christophe Weber, president-designate of GSK Vaccine, the collaboration is part of the company’s strategy to increase its presence in key growth markets. In a press statement, he said, “We are very pleased to be partnering with Daiichi Sankyo... Both companies have strong track records in commercialization and, in combination, will create further significant economies of scale in the development and distribution of vaccines in the Japanese market.”