UK: GlaxoSmithKline targets low cost vaccine for malaria
Date: 21 Jan 2010
GlaxoSmithKline has said that it will aim to keep prices for its planned malaria vaccine low - taking only a five percent profit on manufacturing costs - in order to make it available to poor communities where it is needed. The company has also put into the public domain thousands of potential drugs that might help spark future non-profit research into the disease.
GSK's chief executive Andrew Witty said that companies have to balance social responsibility alongside the need to make profits for their shareholders. He repeated his pledge that GSK would exceed the expectations of society by targeting diseases that otherwise attract little innovation or funding because they mainly impact developing countries.
The company has also created an $8m fund to pay for scientists to explore the newly accessible chemicals or others in an 'open lab' in one of its research centres.
The move follows last year's announcement that it was putting related patents into a 'patent pool'. Witty said he had been disappointed that other companies hadn't followed suit.
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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