GlaxoSmithKline/ Daiichi Sankyo: Just two days after Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. unveiled more details about the global expansion of its new vaccine business – which it expects to become the top vaccine supplier in Japan - Daiichi Sankyo announced March 2 a vaccines joint venture with GSK that would create the number one vaccines business in Japan. The 50-50 joint venture Japan Vaccine Co., Ltd. will be led by co-CEO representatives from each company. The JV’s stated goal is to join GSK's extensive vaccine pipeline with Daiichi Sankyo's domestic manufacturing, sales and development presence. Keeping all things equal, the companies will sell their prophylactic vaccines into the JV, and will earn for 50-50 profits. Daiichi Sankyo and GSK will also split the ¥100 million start-up capital for the venture, and each will send three executives to sit on the six-member board. Each company will be responsible for their own research, preclinical and pre-proof-of-concept and ultimately manufacturing of their own products. Japan Vaccine will step in for development after proof-of-concept. GSK has been vocal about growth opportunities in Japan. The firm's Japan business grew 30% from 2010 to 2011, largely on the back of the human papillomavirus vaccine Cervarix (human papillomavirus types 16,18), which was added to a government reimbursement program for vaccines in 2010. Since then, Japan has leapfrogged to become Cervarix' largest market. The joint venture will begin operations July 2.—Dan Poppy
Image of Conrad Martens' painting of the HMS Beagle reproduced courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons.