New GSK research institute to tackle infectious diseases and support public health in China


GSK today announced it will form a new public health institute in Beijing, to help China tackle the health threats posed by antibiotic resistance and infectious diseases. 

The Institute for Infectious Diseases and Public Health aims to create sustainable, affordable treatment options for patients in China by aligning GSK's R&D capabilities in infectious diseases with the country's public health interests and will act as a focal point for academics, government, healthcare providers and regulators.  

Sir Andrew Witty, CEO, GSK commented “GSK has made a commitment to China and its people, we will be a company 'In China, With China, and For China' setting new standards as a responsible multinational operating in the country.  For GSK this means how we can best align our strategy to the social, economic and development needs of China and its people.  I see the launch of this new institute as an opportunity for us to deliver on this promise. 

“GSK is well positioned to be a catalyst in creating high impact scientific partnerships that can address public health issues by driving joint scientific research; and improving global coordination in addressing major health challenges.” 

Focusing initially on treatments for infectious diseases, the institute will bring a three-year investment of over £20m and more than 20 dedicated experts in medicine discovery, development and epidemiology. Research to support the development in China of key assets from GSK's innovative infectious diseases pipeline will be led by the institute, including clinical assets for HIV and multi-drug resistant bacterial infections.  

A development programme in multi-drug resistant TB for an asset currently in preclinical development will also be led by the new institute.  Almost 930,000 patients were diagnosed with TB in China in 2014.  Nearly 6% of new TB cases or 26% of previously treated cases are estimated to have MDR TB. If successfully developed, GSK intends to file the treatment's first new drug application in China so that Chinese TB patients gain very early access.  This would be the first time GSK has submitted the primary NDA for a global asset in China. 

Partnership opportunities with academic and medical communities will be sought by the institute on selected public health interests such as antimicrobial resistance surveillance and monitoring antibiotic use. 

Patrick Vallance, President, Pharmaceuticals R&D at GSK said “Antimicrobial resistance is a serious healthcare problem in China with high resistance rates of most common bacteria to clinically important antimicrobial agents.   

“As the current Chair of the G20, China is ideally placed to catalyse global efforts in combating antimicrobial resistance. This is a great opportunity to show how governments, industry and academia can partner to translate cutting-edge R&D innovation into sustainable and affordable access to medicines for patients.” 

Sitting within GSK's existing global Infectious Disease R&D Unit, the institute will be led directly by Dr Zhi Hong, Senior Vice President and head of the Infectious Diseases R&D Unit.  Chinese-born and educated; a graduate of Fudan University, Dr Hong is one of the world's leading scientists in HIV medicine discovery and development.  An avid advocate for public health, Dr Hong will be splitting his time between the institute and his base in the US. 

Dr Hong said “I believe this institute will be a unique opportunity for GSK to work with China by developing novel infectious diseases medicines and contributing its world-leading expertise in helping to address its most critical public health challenges. The research priorities of the Institute will be fully aligned with the major public health challenges faced by China today. GSK will seek to partner with leading organizations in China as well as tap into and cultivate local expertise in developing the Institute's research capabilities.  We will also look to explore partnership options with various leading academic centres across China, the UK and US to ensure the institute is at the forefront of scientific excellence.”

With over 70 years of experience working in antibiotics and an active pipeline in the area, GSK is ideally positioned to support the efforts of Chinese academics and policy experts in creating a China-based solution to this global challenge.  The institute reflects GSK's commitment to build on its established significant R&D presence in Shanghai and invest in bringing innovative approaches for public health challenges to China.

GSK – 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.  For further information please visit

GSK's established R&D footprint in China

Established in Shanghai in 2007, the GSK R&D China site is dedicated to the discovery and development of medicines for patients worldwide, and to helping address unmet medical needs for patients in China.  The site is also the global headquarters for GSK R&D Neurosciences, and is headed by Dr Min Li, GM of R&D China and SVP, Head of Neuroscience Therapeutic Area Unit.  

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Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking   statements
GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D 'Risk factors' in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2014.


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