The site will become one of three global vaccines R&D centers for GSK, complementing the company’s existing centers in Rixensart, Belgium and in Siena, Italy, a site which GSK recently acquired from Novartis in March 2015.
The new US vaccines R&D center will expand GSK’s efforts to discover and develop novel vaccines across a range of pressing public health threats, including those relevant to the US. It will consolidate vaccines R&D activities currently conducted at other GSK sites including in Philadelphia, PA and Cambridge, MA, into one centralized location.
Key late stage development programs, as well as vaccine discovery and new platform technology development will be led from Rockville.
The Rockville site, which was acquired by GSK in 2012, offers proximity to vaccines collaborators and key public health stakeholders. GSK anticipates site operations for vaccines to begin in Rockville as early as September 2015.
Luc Debruyne, President, GSK Vaccines, said: “As the global vaccines leader, GSK is on the cutting edge of vaccine development. Following the acquisition of Novartis’s global vaccines business and in recognition of the vaccines knowledge and expertise in the United States, we are pleased to expand our US presence with the creation of a world-class vaccines R&D center. This will drive innovation, and enhance our capabilities for new vaccine discoveries that protect the US and public health around the world.”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said: “I am proud that a world-class pharmaceutical company like GSK has chosen to grow its US operations in Maryland. With key federal labs like the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health in our backyard, a highly-educated workforce and a critical mass of life sciences companies, Maryland offers GSK an excellent environment in which to grow and thrive.”
This move follows GSK’s acquisition of Novartis’ vaccines business as part of the companies’ major three-part transaction that closed in March 2015. GSK and Novartis’s vaccines R&D organizations are highly complementary, bringing together respective expertise in virology and bacterial infection.