GSK and Zhifei ink shingles vax partnership

Oct. 10, 2023

GlaxoSmithKline and drugmaker Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products — China's largest vaccine company by revenue — have inked a partnership to co-promote GSK's shingles vaccine, Shingrix, in China for an initial three-year term. 

According to the statement shared this week, the partnership is set to begin on January 1, 2024, and will grant Zhifei exclusive rights to import and distribute Shingrix in China, targeting over 30,000 vaccination points nationwide. Under the terms of the collaboration, Zhifei will purchase Shingrix volumes with a total value of $3.6 billion (£2.5 billion) to GSK over the initial three years, with potential extensions. With the partnership, GSK says its on track to double global Shingrix sales by 2026. 

The agreement also includes an option to extend the partnership and potentially collaborate on GSK's RSV vaccine, Arexvy, for older adults aged 60 and above in China.

Shingrix (recombinant zoster vaccine or RZV) is a non-live vaccine designed to prevent shingles in adults aged 50 and over. It combines an antigen, glycoprotein E, with an adjuvant system, AS01B, to counteract age-related declines in the immune system's response to vaccination. Shingles, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, presents as a painful rash and can lead to complications like long-lasting nerve pain. The jab was approved in 2017 and 2019 in the U.S. and China respectively. 

Back in August, GSK reported positive results from the ZOSTER-076 phase IV trial, demonstrating 100% for Shingrix efficacy in preventing shingles in Chinese adults aged 50 and over.