GSK is doing good deeds again. The Big Pharma company recently signed an agreement with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI, Geneva) to provide children in Africa with its pneumococcal vaccine, Synflorix.
The vaccine targets diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and was just introduced in Europe last year. GSK will supply approximately 30 million doses of the vaccine to GAVI every year for a 10-year period (a value of $1.3 billion). A dedicated GSK plant in Singapore will conduct the majority of the vaccine’s production.
The agreement is funded by the Advance Market Commitment, an innovative financing mechanism launched in June 2009 by the G8 countries, and is the result of collaboration among UNICEF, the World Bank, and major donors, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Norway, Italy, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Perhaps the US should get on board with the initiative as well considering that pneumonia kills more children than any other disease, including AIDS, malaria, and measles combined, according to UNICEF statistics.
Earlier this year, GSK made good on its promise to make public the availability of 13,500 malaria compounds to focus on finding malaria treatments for individuals in least-developed countries. (See back story “GSK Promotes Open Innovation, Help for Developing Countries”.)
It’s nice to see that the company is sticking to its goals of bringing innovation to the people and areas of the world that need it most.