GlaxoSmithKline is continuing to develop its pharmaceutical activities in Wallonia at its site in Wavre. This site represents the largest industrial network for vaccine production in the world, producing two million doses of vaccines every day, with 99% of the production exported to more than 160 countries.
The contribution of this new capital is intended to extend its unit in Wavre, in order to make it a major centre of expertise in the field of freeze drying.
Researchers at the Wavre site will focus their efforts on further developing the freeze-drying process for vaccines. Most vaccines currently on the market are still sold in the classic liquid form; however, in order to move towards longer storage, dehydrating them and reducing them to a powder seems to be an ideal solution.
GSK already has two freeze-dried vaccines in the advanced clinical phase, but the €330 million investment in the Wavre site will be dedicated to producing the coronavirus vaccine from the German company Curevac. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recently announced that it is beginning an ‘ongoing review’ of this vaccine, as a first step towards requesting formal approval to market it in the European Union. According to GSK, this vaccine should be more effective against coronavirus variants.
After validation, no less than 100 million doses of this new vaccine will be produced in Wallonia.