GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) has signed on to a drug partnership that aims to bring new medicines into emerging markets.
The five-year agreement with the Institute of Chemical and Engineering Sciences (ICES) in Singapore, pledges to develop new evidence-based formulations – already existing drugs that are reformulated to provide additional patient benefit. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. The reformulated drugs that GSK and ICES plan to develop could be fixed-dose combinations of active drugs or new formulations that can be administered in a different way or are safer than earlier versions of the drug. These drugs are sometimes called “value added formulations” or “incrementally modified drugs.”
Under CEO Andrew Witty, GSK has pledged a renewed focus on emerging markets. Witty has often said that pharmas need to move away from selling “white pills in Western markets.” GSK has been working with ICES for the last 10 years. ICES is a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. A*STAR’s oversight includes 14 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research institutes including ICES.
London-based GSK operates its U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park. The company’s facilities in Singapore include a regional headquarters for emerging markets and Asia Pacific; an R&D facility; manufacturing sites and a vaccines plant.
The new collaboration pairs ICES’ experience in synthesis formulation and process development with GSK’s experience in choosing and optimizing drug candidates and developing new drug formulations.