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    GlaxoSmithKline CEO Meets with President Bush to Discuss Pandemic Flu Plans



    Philadelphia, PA, October 7, 2005 - Today, President George Bush met with GlaxoSmithKline [NYSE:GSK] CEO Jean-Pierre Garnier and CEOs of other vaccine manufacturers to review ways in which the industry can support the US Government in its plans to respond to potential global flu pandemic.


    Following the meeting, Garnier said: “I commend President Bush for actively planning to protect the American public in the event of a flu pandemic. We have been working with the US government, as well as governments and health authorities around the world, to outline our antiviral and flu vaccine capabilities, and identify how they fit into preparations for pandemic flu. We will work with President Bush to do everything we can to support the US government’s efforts.”


    Recently GSK has invested $2 billion to expand the company’s flu vaccine manufacturing capacity and to increase the production of its antiviral Relenza® (zanamivir for inhalation). Both could help meet public health needs in the case of pandemic.


    Relenza is one of several antiviral drugs that could be considered for the treatment of influenza. Currently, pandemic concerns have increased demand for available supplies of Relenza; therefore, GSK is investing to expand its manufacturing capacities to help meet the pandemic planning needs of governments and international organizations.


    GSK is also rapidly and significantly expanding its capabilities to manufacture flu vaccine. The company expects to substantially increase its North American manufacturing capacity with the proposed acquisition of ID Biomedical, a Canadian vaccine manufacturer. The company has also expanded its manufacturing plant in Dresden, Germany, more than doubling capacity in the coming years from the current 35 million doses annually. GSK is also preparing a plan to convert more of the company’s manufacturing capabilities to pandemic flu vaccine production if needed.


    As a major vaccine research company, GSK also has an H5N1 prototype pandemic vaccine in development. The prototype uses an adjuvant which may boost the body’s immune response to the vaccine and allow for lower doses to be used which would be essential for treating large populations in a pandemic. The prototype may also protect against additional strains (drifted from H5N1) that could arise. Clinical trials with the H5N1 flu strain are planned in 2006.


    GSK is also investing in development of new vaccine production technologies. The company recently acquired a vaccine plant in Marietta, PA, that will become a primary development and production center for tissue culture technology used to create the next generation of flu vaccines. Tissue culture technology could eliminate dependence on chicken eggs, thereby increasing the efficiency and speed of manufacturing, which would be critical in a pandemic. Tissue culture is therefore one of the most promising future technologies for the production of flu vaccines.

    GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.



 
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