The year 2014 was a trying one to say the least from GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK).

Hundreds of layoffs are underway in the Triangle. The company paid a huge $450-million fine for bribery in China. Meanwhile, it swapped assets with Novartis in a deal worth billions.

And CEO Andrew Witty took a pay cut as GSK’s financials suffered. Its top North American executive took retirement.

Yet through all the turmoil, GSK remained committed to development of a vaccine to fight the deadly Ebola disease.

“There was a notion of duty to respond as one of the leading vaccine companies and use some of our resources to respond to this kind of emerging threat,” said Dr. Emmanuel Hanon, the head of vaccine discovery for GSK, in an interview with life science news site PMLive.

“The time of the pharmaceutical company that is only interested in the benefits [to itself] has passed – we have a social responsibility.”

Resources were diverted from other projects to fund the effort, Hanon said.

Work on the vaccine continues in trial stage.

Read more at: