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GSK Expands Shingrix Vaccine Reach in China


In a significant move, UK-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has sealed a three-year, £2.5 billion deal with Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products Co., aiming to fortify the presence of its shingles vaccine, Shingrix, in the vast Chinese market.

Zhifei to Elevate Shingrix Access Across China

Zhifei, known for distributing Merck & Co’s Gardasil, will play a pivotal role in the promotion of Shingrix. Their plan includes extending its availability from the existing 9,000 sites to a remarkable 30,000 vaccination centers across China. However, this expansion caters to the surging elderly population in China, supported by the government’s endorsement of new pharmaceutical products.

GSK Exclusive Distribution Rights for Zhifei

As part of this strategic partnership, Zhifei secures exclusive distribution rights for Shingrix during the initial three-year term. This collaboration anticipates an impressive doubling of global Shingrix sales, projecting revenues exceeding £4 billion by the year 2026.

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Exploring New Horizons

Notably, the agreement opens the door for Zhifei to distribute GSK’s upcoming respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, Arexvy, subject to regulatory approvals in China. Thus, the development positions GSK in direct competition with Pfizer Inc in this burgeoning market sector.

Market Responses

Following the announcement of this transformative partnership, Zhifei’s shares surged by an impressive 20%, while GSK’s shares experienced a more modest increase, rising by less than 1%.

In a strategic move designed to tap into China’s growing elderly population, GSK’s collaboration with Zhifei promises to reshape the distribution landscape of the Shingrix vaccine, with significant implications for the pharmaceutical market in China and beyond.

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