GSK opens first US vaccine R&D site in Maryland next to non-profit public health unit

By Dani Bancroft contact

- Last updated on GMT

iStock/Barnabychambers
iStock/Barnabychambers
The new $50m facility will house 450 scientists in Rockville, Maryland to work across 12 vaccine development programmes, alongside the non-profit Biopreparedness organisation (BPO).

In a statement, the Big Pharma firm said the facility is its first fully dedicated R&D centre for vaccines, which will work with its two other vaccine sites in Siena, Italy and Rixensart, Belgium.

GSK acquired the Rockville park campus when it bought​ Human Genome Sciences (HGS) back in 2012 for $3Bn.

Vaccines

The facility will be involved in the development of 12 vaccines in GSK’s portfolio, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Group B Streptococcus (GBS), Dengue fever and the Zika virus. 

This R&D facility will work on its commercial vaccine programmes in close proximity to the firm’s non-profit research organisation – the Biopreparedness organisation (BPO).

Biopreparedness

Announced in September, the GSK BPO was created following a call for R&D​ to be more prepared to tackle emerging infectious diseases by the World Health Organisation.

The non-profit will design and develop new vaccines against pathogens which pose a threat to public health, and is actively seeking​ partnerships with the CDC, NIH and the WHO.

The planned space for the BPO in Rockville includes R&D labs with two pilot plants for biosafety level 2 capable drug substance production, clinical immunology labs and GMP testing facilities.

In a presentation​, GSK announced it will have “fully integrated end to end R&D”​, with external funding to cover 100% of the running costs.

Related topics: Bio Developments, Facilities

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