GSK Plc clinched a partnership with Chinese vaccine maker Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co. to boost sales of its blockbuster shingles immunization locally.
(Bloomberg) — GSK Plc clinched a partnership with Chinese vaccine maker Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co. to boost sales of its blockbuster shingles immunization locally.
Under the agreement, GSK will sell £2.5 billion ($3 billion) worth of its Shingrix shot to Zhifei over a three-year period. The Chinese company, which already distributes Merck & Co.’s Gardasil, will promote the shot across 30,000 vaccination points to spur its uptake, GSK said in a statement Monday.
Tapping growing demand among China’s swelling ranks of senior citizens could help GSK reach its goal of doubling Shingrix’s revenue to more than £4 billion by 2026 — especially as demand cools in other markets.
“With US Shingrix sales slowing, China therefore becomes a critical growth market,” John Murphy, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote in a note.
Zhifei rose to its daily trading limit of 20% in Shenzhen. GSK shares gained less than 1% in London.
Zhifei also granted the UK drugmaker the right of first refusal to be its exclusive partner to get GSK’s shots against respiratory syncytial virus approved and sold in China as the UK drugmaker vies with Pfizer Inc. for dominance in this new market.
The partnership comes as a follow-up study shows Shingrix has demonstrated 100% efficacy among thousands of Chinese who already received the inoculation.
Even as drugmakers seek partners locally, they’re facing increasing competition as Chinese biotechs race to make vaccines similar to their blockbuster shots. Earlier this year, China’s drug regulator approved the country’s first home-grown shingles immunization, which sells at a lower cost and require just one dose.
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