GSK to focus on innovative medicines and vaccines to drive growth in China

GlaxoSmithKline has pledged to expand its foothold in China after separating from its consumer healthcare business in July to become a biopharmaceutical company.

GSK, a global biopharma company, said it is accelerating the release of new medications in China and focusing on specific disease areas in order to maximize treatment for patients.

Cecilia Qi, vice president and general manager of GSK China, told Shanghai Daily that the organization is still committed to accelerating its footprint in the country after decoupling its consumer healthcare business in July this year to become a stand-alone biopharma company with a singular focus.

GSK to focus on innovative medicines and vaccines to drive growth in China

Cecilia Qi, vice president and general manager of GSK China

Its corporate mission, as a global biopharma company, is to unite science, technology and talent to get ahead of disease together.

"We have high expectations of the Chinese market and will continue to focus on innovative vaccines and medicines to drive growth," she said.

With a focus on important priorities and continued accelerated expansion, it aims to more than double its China business in two to three years.

It also hopes that in three to five years it will surpass Japan to become the most significant regional market in the China & Intercontinental region.

"We believe that the market potential in China will be further unlocked under the direction of our new goal, 'Ahead Together,'" she said. "We are firmly rooted in local healthcare services that meet the demand for disease management and treatment."

Efforts to advance R&D and commercialization in important therapeutic areas are still being made in Shanghai, and the introduction of novel medications into China is progressing quickly.

"Shanghai acts as an important hub for us with its strong economic vitality and abundant resources for medical research," she said. "It also helps us to attract top talent with extensive training in science and research to accomplish our long-term goals."

GSK to focus on innovative medicines and vaccines to drive growth in China

GSK is making continuous efforts to advance R&D and commercialization in important therapeutic areas as well as the introduction of novel medications into China.

Last year, it set up GSK Enterprise Management Company in Pudong to direct import and distribution of Rx products in China, with Shanghai serving as the national headquarters in China.

This was created to simplify the import and distribution processes and increase operational effectiveness so that imported medications can quickly reach patients.

With a wide range of vaccines, it offers protection against infectious diseases at every stage of life, including meningitis, shingles, flu, polio, measles, and many others.

Shingrix, the GSK shingles vaccine, is now available in 265 Chinese cities since its release in 19 places in 2020.

More than 6,300 immunization sites in domestic cities have been covered by the Shingrix vaccine (zoster recombinant vaccine).

The National Medical Products Administration approved the Cervarix Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine's two-dose schedule for young girls aged 9 to 14 earlier this year. With this approval, Cervarix is the first imported two-dose HPV vaccine for this age group in the Chinese mainland.

In order to address key public health concerns such as oncology, respiratory, and infectious illnesses, it focuses on the science of the immune system, human genetics, and advanced technologies.

In the next three years, more than two dozen clinical studies will begin in China, and research efforts are concentrating on immunology and cancer treatment, which are urgently needed in China.

"If there is a pressing need for such diseases, we will also assess the demand for clinical treatment and disease prevention and conduct parallel investigations for potential breakthrough treatments."

Ongoing research and development projects focus on oncology, HIV, immunology, and respiratory and infectious disorders.

In the next three years, GSK will file new drug approval applications in China for more than 10 new medicines.

"We're fully supportive of China's healthcare blueprints and reform measures, and we're willing to participate in the medical reform to be included in the National Reimbursement Drug List that has given a significant boost to our overall sales volume and business performance," she said.

It is actively participating in the negotiations over the National Reimbursement Drug List and regards it as a crucial step in extending patient access to the affordability of medications.

Five of GSK's novel medications have been listed on the NRDL in the past three years, which has greatly benefited patients by enabling them to receive the finest care possible at a reasonable price.

"Our major task is to allow patients to be able to use innovative treatment through new forms of payment and collaboration," she said.

"We have taken the first steps to introduce these treatments, and our new purpose, 'Get ahead of disease together,' represents our deepest commitment to patients," she said.

"We will continue to unite all forces and parties to make sure patients have affordable and accessible treatment."

GSK has been working in conjunction with local partners and has continued to make unswerving contributions to China's grassroots healthcare system.

Its partnership with the China Association of Health Education and Promotion is a testament to its efforts to advance and perfect a quicker and more accurate screening system as well as to further improve the ability of grassroots treatment for the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

By improving doctors' skills in COPD diagnosis and treatment, it would continue to promote and implement standardized and tiered COPD diagnosis and treatment in China.

"The 'Happy Breath' program was significant for us as it enters its fifth year and we feel it's crucial to leverage the latest technology, grassroot facilities, and infrastructure to contribute to the Healthy China 2030 blueprint," Qi said.

Through collaboration with the Yinchuan Health Commission, its digital COPD healthcare management program created an environment for the delivery of healthcare. Yinchuan program has been included in the list of China's 5G+ medical and healthcare pilot projects released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the National Health Commission.

Dedicated to becoming a company where people can thrive, it has also increased the value of talent to a previously unheard-of level and emphasizes the diversity of talents that adapt to changing market trends as well as the zeal and flexibility of local customers.

The company's culture and the strong GSK workforce serve as significant catalysts for the team's progress as long as they remain "Ambitious for patients, Accountable for impact and Do the right thing."

It has dedicated teams for each therapeutic area and product to ensure the best performance for each specific treatment and disease solution.

"We believe we're well-positioned to tackle medical treatment and prevention challenges with our cutting-edge biopharma technologies and research efforts," Qi said.

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