Brussels, September 11, 2009 – As part of a three-way joint project, the Québec and Canadian governments and GlaxoSmithKline inc. (GSK) have announced that $60 million in non-refundable funding, spread over three years, will be awarded to GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals.
The objective of this project, worth a total of $90 million, is to replace the vaccine filling and sterile packaging line at the Quebec City plant in 2012 with a new line that has greater capacity. This investment will allow the firm to increase its pandemic vaccine packaging capacity and cut delivery times in case another pandemic is declared by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The current filling capacity of the facilities in Quebec City will be more than doubled, resulting in the production of one vaccine dose for each Canadian in the month following the beginning of the vaccine fillings. Accordingly, GlaxoSmithKline will be able to meet the new objectives of the pandemic plan developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
The Québec government will make a non-refundable financial contribution of up to $20 million over three years, which will be administered by Investissement Québec. “We are proud to support the modernization of the only influenza vaccine manufacturing plant in Canada. The economic development of Québec relies on dynamic and prosperous leading sectors, such as biopharmaceuticals. This sector has more than 145 firms and provides over 20,900 direct jobs. Québec is an excellent place to invest in this area and GlaxoSmithKline understands that. With this investment, the firm is showing once again that it is banking on Québec for its long-term development,” emphasized the Minister of Economic Development and Innovation, Clément Gignac.
“Our government is happy to support a project that will allow, at its conclusion, GlaxoSmithKline to increase its vaccine production capacity. Remember that vaccination is still one of the safest and most effective preventive measures in the history of modern medicine. By supporting the development of this world-class firm, we also strengthen our supply autonomy, especially as concerns influenza vaccines, of which GSK is already a major partner,” stated the Québec Minister of Health, Yves Bolduc.
“As the largest influenza vaccine manufacturer in Canada, GlaxoSmithKline inc. truly welcomes this proposal to join forces again in partnership with the governments of Québec and Canada, with the goal of creating a new filling line for its Quebec City facilities, in order to support this country’s preparedness in case of a pandemic. The partnership proposed reflects once again the deep commitment of our firm to collaborate with all levels of government in order to implement initiatives that protect and improve the health of Canadians,” said Paul Lucas, President and Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline.
About GlaxoSmithKline inc.
GlaxoSmithKline inc. is the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world. GSK Biologicals is the subsidiary in charge of vaccines and headquartered in Belgium. With more than 1,300 employees in Québec and nearly 3,000 employees in Canada, GSK is the largest employer in the biopharmaceutical sector in the province and the country. Its Québec subsidiary is the only Canadian influenza vaccine facility. GlaxoSmithKline inc. was ranked as one of the 50 best Canadian employers for the eighth consecutive year and recognized as the best employer in the pharmaceutical industry for the third consecutive year.
The GSK firm was established in Canada over 100 years ago. Since 2005, it has invested more than $300 million in its facilities, including $249 million in the last two years, to increase vaccine and pharmaceutical product production capacity in Canada. As a large international drug, vaccine and healthcare research firm, GlaxoSmithKline is dedicated to improving quality of life by helping people to become more active, feel better and live longer. It is one of 15 main research and development investors in Canada, investing more than $156 million in this sector in 2008 alone. GSK was named a Caring Company by the Imagine Canada program.