GSK Sells Vaccines Unit to Bharat Biotech
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Asia is selling subsidiary Chiron Behring Vaccines to Indian biotechnology company Bharat Biotech for an undisclosed sum. The all-cash transaction, which remains subject to a number of closing conditions, is anticipated to complete in the coming weeks.
The Hyderabad-headquartered company said the purchase will make it one of the largest manufacturers of high-quality rabies vaccines in the world.
“This acquisition is strategic in helping us enhance our opportunities to achieve greater scale in tackling public health problems. Bharat Biotech will strengthen its product portfolio and substantially increase product availability in response to the growing demand for this vaccine,” said Krishna Ella, Bharat Biotech’s chairman and managing director.
Chiron Behring Vaccines, which is based in Ankleshwar, Gujarat, India, was originally formed in 1998 from a joint venture between Chiron and Hoechst Marion Roussel. Chiron was bought in 2006 by Novartis, which eventually sold the vaccines business to GSK.
The Indian biotech said it plans to enhance Chiron Behring’s manufacturing capabilities and expand market access through product registrations in additional high-demand countries. Chiron Behring is a pre-qualified manufacturer of rabies vaccines under the World Health Organization (WHO) and has product registrations in more than 20 countries.
According to the WHO, rabies claims the lives of more than 55,000 people each year, mostly in Asia and Africa, with India accounting for 36% of the world’s rabies deaths.