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GSK plant in Northern France powers up

02 Oct 2015 | Health Nutrition, Investment

Amid strong global demand, pharmaceutical giant GSK has doubled vaccine production at its Northern France plant and now plans to create 100 new jobs.

GSK plant in Northern doubles output

Worldwide, one in two children is treated with a vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). The UK-based group is the world’s top supplier, with a portfolio of 34 vaccines and 30% market share.

In 2002 GSK acquired Sterilyo—a French pharmaceutical company in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, near Valenciennes—and in 2006 it launched a major investment program, the largest to be announced in France by a foreign pharmaceutical company. Since then, the plant in Northern France has made steady gains, producing 30 million units in 2008, 77 million in 2014 and an estimated 140 million in 2015, with exports sold in over 125 countries. To keep pace with this spectacular growth, the company will hire an additional 100 employees in 2015, expanding the plant’s existing workforce of 650.

Major GSK site

The Saint-Amand plant has become a strategic asset for the pharmaceutical maker. Its location near the world headquarters of GSK’s vaccine division in Belgium and easy access to the region’s transport infrastructure were decisive factors in the group’s decision to do business in Northern France.

Significant investment

GSK’s €600 million investment program at the Saint-Amand plant is the largest industrial investment made by a foreign pharmaceutical company in France in the last 20 years. Nord France Invest recognized the importance of the move in 2012, presenting GSK with the innovative investment prize at the first edition of the International Investment Awards.

And the pharmaceutical maker has even bigger plans. In 2016, the Saint-Amand site will invest another €12 million in future production of a new malaria vaccine. “It’s a long term project, with over 20 years of research and development,” says Géraldine Vetterhoeffer, Manufacturing Site Director at the plant, “and it will help us save even more lives. Many children still die of malaria.”


Source: La Voix du Nord.

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