The $100m (€89.7m) investment will be spent on GSK’s manufacturing site in Montana, US, and will add production capacity of key components of the adjuvant system used in several of the company’s vaccines.
The 193,000-square-foot Hamilton site produces monophosphoryl lipid, a bacterially-derived adjuvant, which is a component used in the creation of various vaccines GSK holds in its portfolio, including Shingrix, a recombinant zoster vaccine.
In addition to expanding the facility’s capacity, the company expects the investment will add to the current 200 employees at the site with the addition of jobs in R&D and manufacturing.
GSK’s has previously explained that demand for its Shingrix vaccine in 2018 outstripped supply, as a result, it has had to limit orders and expects this position to continue for the rest of 2019.
With the increased investment in the facility, the company expects to be able to make its supply more robust.
Jack Bailey, president of US Pharmaceuticals at GSK, said, “By expanding the adjuvant system production capabilities in Hamilton, we will continue to deliver long-term and sustainable supply for key vaccines, including Shingrix.”
In full-year 2018 results, GSK revealed that the Shingrix vaccine had sales of £784m ($1bn), amid a US market that saw rapid uptake of the vaccine – a spokesperson previously told us that more vaccines were delivered in the first half of 2018 than the entire year of 2017.
The full expansion project will take two to three years to complete, while the specific upgrade at its Hamilton site will take place “over the next few years.”