$50 million investment to support new role
LAVAL, QC, June 11 /CNW Telbec/ - GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has designated
its facility in Laval, Quebec, as the North American headquarters of its
innovative vaccines division. The site will conduct leading vaccine research &
development (R&D), and is also the administrative centre for the company's
vaccines operations in North America. To support this crucial new role, GSK
has created more than 60 new high calibre jobs and is completing an investment
of $50 million to expand and upgrade existing laboratory facilities, including
the construction of a new state-of-the-art serology lab, clinical development
and operational costs.
Scientists in Laval will focus research and development work in the areas
of adjuvant technologies, molecular biology, immunology, respiratory viral
vaccines, allergy, oncology and process development.
The announcement was made today in the presence of the Honourable Michael
M Fortier, Federal Minister of Public Works and Government Services and
Minister Responsible for the Montreal Region, Mr. Raymond Bachand, Provincial
Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade and Minister of
Tourism, Mr. Gilles Vaillancourt, Mayor of Laval, and several other
representatives from the business and academic communities.
"Today's announcement underlines GSK's intention to give Canada, and
specifically Quebec, a pivotal role in its world-leading vaccine business,"
said Paul Lucas, President and CEO, GlaxoSmithKline Inc. (Canada). "GSK is
proud to be contributing to the overall strength of the pharmaceutical and
biopharmaceutical industry both in Quebec and in Canada as a whole, and we
will continue to invest heavily in growing the company's pipeline to meet the
demand for our innovative vaccines."
Mr. Lucas added that this development was only made possible through a
supportive policy environment.
"There is significant global competition to attract investment in life
sciences," he said. "It is therefore gratifying to see the local, provincial
and federal governments doing their part to ensure policies support innovation
and patient health."
Investments made in the Laval facility have already resulted in the
creation of several high-calibre jobs in scientific research, and staffing
will have increased by 20 per cent by the end of 2007.
This means that GSK is now the largest biopharmaceutical employer in
Quebec and in the country, with more than 1,400 employees in the province, and
3,300 in Canada.
"Our facilities and staff in Laval are playing a pivotal role in the
development of new and innovative vaccines for the world while supporting a
growing and vibrant R&D sector in Quebec and Canada," said Nathalie Garçon,
Head of Research and North America R&D, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals.
GSK already supplies approximately 75 per cent of the Canadian
government's seasonal flu vaccine purchases. It is also working with federal
and provincial governments to ensure appropriate pandemic preparedness.
With global headquarters in Rixensart, Belgium, GSK's vaccines division
is a world leader in the development and manufacturing of vaccines. In
addition to the Laval facility, the vaccines division has four other
facilities in North America which are located in Ste-Foy, Quebec; Hamilton,
Montana; Columbia, Maryland; and Marietta, Pennsylvania.
About GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals
GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (GSK Bio), one of the world's leading vaccine
manufacturers, is headquartered in Rixensart, Belgium, where the majority of
GSK's activities in the field of vaccine research, development and production
are conducted. GSK Bio employs more than 1,500 scientists, who are devoted to
discovering new vaccines and developing more cost-effective and convenient
combination products to prevent infections that cause serious medical problems
worldwide. GSK Bio is also developing innovative immunotherapy compounds to
treat cancer patients.
GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based
pharmaceutical and health-care companies - is committed to improving the
quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live
longer. In Canada, GlaxoSmithKline is among the top 15 investors in research
and development, contributing more than $176 million in 2006 alone. GSK is an
Imagine Caring Company, and is consistently recognized as one of the 50 Best
Employers in Canada. For company information, please visit www.gsk.ca.
/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
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For further information:
For further information: Marie-Christine Beauchemin, GlaxoSmithKline,
(514) 956-3105; Peter Schram, GlaxoSmithKline, (905) 819-3363; Kenneth
Inchausti, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, (267) 809-7552; To arrange an
interview, please contact: Roch Landriault - Montréal, NATIONAL PharmaCom,
(514) 843-2345; Nina Keitner - Toronto, NATIONAL PharmaCom, (416) 586-1908