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Pharmaceutical powerhouse GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK ) announced in a press statement recently that it has agreed to a 50/50 joint venture with Indian vaccines firm Biological E Limited. The venture will provide early stage research and development into a six-in-one vaccine to immunize children in India and other developing nations against polio and several other deadly diseases.
The new vaccine, if approved, would combine GSK's polio vaccine with Biological's immunization for hepatitis B, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, and Haemophilius influenza type B. Children receiving the vaccine would need less overall vaccinations, improving immunization scheduling in developing countries.
Analysts project that the Indian vaccine market could grow by up to 20% a year for the next four years, making market sales of $871 million by 2016 a possibility.
GSK's President of Vaccines, Christophe Webb, explained the company's vision for the venture in the release, saying:
This agreement is fully aligned to GSK's vision of providing high quality vaccines to those in need and by leveraging Biological E's strengths, this particular vaccine has the potential to be play a significant role in the fight against polio.