Healthcare Industry News: influenza
News Release - September 28, 2006
GSK Grants License for Manufacture of Influenza Treatment ZanamivirAgreement Intended to Increase Availability of Supply in Asia and Least Developed Countries
LONDON, and PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 28 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK ) today announced it has signed a licensing agreement with Simcere Pharmaceutical Group of Nanjing, China, granting Simcere the right to manufacture and sell the anti-viral influenza treatment zanamivir in China, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and all Least Developed Countries (LDCs)(1). Zanamivir is the active ingredient in GSK's RelenzaŽ (zanamivir for inhalation), which was developed by GSK under license from Biota Holdings, Limited.
"GSK is doing everything we can to prepare for a global influenza pandemic, including expanding production of Relenza and developing a pandemic vaccine," said David Stout, President, Pharmaceutical Operations. "This agreement with Simcere is intended to expand available supplies of zanamivir in areas of the world that may be on the front line of a possible influenza pandemic."
Of the more than 240 cases reported in which humans have been infected with H5N1 influenza virus, also known as avian flu, more than half have occurred in Asia-Pacific nations or in the LDCs. Experts have expressed concern that H5N1 could mutate to become a strain that is more easily transmitted between humans, leading to a global pandemic.
GlaxoSmithKline has an active research and development program targeted at both seasonal and pandemic influenza, and has committed over $2 billion to expand capacity for manufacturing flu vaccine and Relenza.
Relenza is approved in many markets for the prophylaxis and treatment of influenza A and B in children and adults.
GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and health care companies, and is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information visit: http://www.gsk.com.
Biota is Australia's leading antiviral drug development company, based in Melbourne. Biota's initial success was the discovery of zanamivir, the first- in-class neuraminidase inhibitor for the treatment and prevention of influenza. Zanamivir is licensed to GlaxoSmithKline and marketed as Relenza(TM). Relenza is used to treat seasonal influenza and is currently being stockpiled by various governments for defence against possible pandemic outbreaks of avian (bird) influenza. For more information about Biota, visit: http://www.biota.com.au.
Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, headquartered in Nanjing, China, is an incorporated pharmaceutical company producing a wide range of quality generic medicines. It is one of the top 100 Chinese pharmaceutical companies. The Company's products are sold in each of China's 30 provinces and municipalities. For more information about Simcere, visit: http://www.simcere.com/english/index.asp.
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