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GSK’s £1bn fight against infectious diseases in low-income countries

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GSK to invest £1bn over the next decade to tackle infectious diseases in low-income countries

Driving vaccines: Glaxosmithkline chief exec Emma Walmsley

Glaxosmithkline will invest £1 billion over the next ten years to fight infectious diseases in low-income countries.

The pharmaceutical giant’s investment will focus on finding vaccines and drugs against malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.

GSK also pledged to focus on antimicrobial resistance and neglected tropical diseases, which affect people in the world’s poorest regions.

The group has formed a global health unit whose success is measured by its ‘health impact alone’ meaning GSK does not expect a financial return on its £1bn investment.

The prevention and treatment of infectious diseases that mainly affect low-income countries is usually not cost-effective.

Drug companies are under pressure to invest more in fighting infectious diseases and broadening access to treatments in developing countries as they target lucrative areas like cancer.

Malawi’s Ministry of Health said GSK’s investment was a “critical step” in eliminating infectious diseases and creating a “healthier and more equal world.”

The drug giant previously developed the first malaria vaccine and is conducting trials for a possible tuberculosis vaccine.

It also doubled yesterday on a pledge to donate the drug albendazole, which treats lymphatic filariasis and helminthiasis — parasitic diseases caused by microscopic worms — until they’re eliminated.

GSK is splitting next month, listing its consumer goods business as a standalone Haleon company on the London Stock Exchange.

GSK will continue as a vaccine and pharmaceutical company, led by boss Emma Walmsley.

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