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GlaxoSmithKline aims to start Marietta vaccine packaging this year

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) expects to begin vaccine packaging at
its new Marietta
facility this spring pending federal approval, company officials said today.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) expects to begin vaccine packaging at
its new Marietta
facility this spring pending federal approval, company officials said today.

The Belgium-based health care and pharmaceutical giant has
invested $300 million in the 656,000-square-foot plant since acquiring it from
Wyeth in 2005.

It is now poised to submit the plant for U.S. Food and Drug
Administration
approval to manufacture vaccines. Vaccine production is expected
to begin in 2010.

The highly automated facility is slated to become GSK’s hub
for its U.S. vaccines, and virtually
all of the vaccine GSK sells in this country will pass through the Lancaster County plant.

GSK produces 30 vaccines, including those for seasonal and
pandemic flu as well as for measles, mumps and rubella

The facility will continue to expand through 2013, officials
said, adding about 90 more employees to bring the total workforce to 270.

GSK will make the antigen, or killed virus particles that
help the body to develop antibodies in response to a disease, for its vaccines
elsewhere.

In Marietta,
the antigen will be combined with other agents to form vaccines, measured into
doses and then freeze dried and/or packaged for shipment.

GSK accounts for 6.3 percent of the world’s pharmaceutical
sales and has a 22 percent share of worldwide vaccine market, according to the
company.

Shares of the company are traded on the New York Stock
Exchange
under the symbol GSK.

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