GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is expanding its manufacturing operations in Belgium with a significant investment of over 250 million euros ($273 million). The company is building a new facility at its Wavre campus, set to become operational by 2027. This new unit will focus on producing freeze-dried vaccines, including GSK’s recently launched respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, Arexvy. Additionally, it will be responsible for manufacturing other key vaccines, such as the fast-growing shingles shot Shingrix and the malaria vaccine Mosquirix. The primary goal of this expansion is to enhance manufacturing efficiency and reduce environmental impact, with plans to lyophilize tens of millions of vaccine doses annually.
Arexvy is a pivotal product in GSK’s growth strategy, competing with Pfizer’s Abrysvo in the older adult RSV market. While it may not grow as rapidly as Shingrix, GSK intends to follow a similar launch strategy, emphasizing price discipline and expanding its market presence in Europe and the rest of the world over the coming years. GSK’s past production challenges, such as supply constraints for Shingrix, have been resolved, with strong sales growth observed in 2022 and early 2023. This expansion in Belgium aligns with the country’s growing role as a vaccine manufacturing hub, hosting multiple GSK vaccine sites, and contributes to the broader global efforts to ensure vaccine supply and production capacity.
Furthermore, GSK has been investing in vaccine production beyond Belgium, including a new drug substance facility in Singapore, where it recently broke ground. This facility will produce the hepatitis B vaccine Engerix-B and is expected to begin commercial production in 2027. These investments underscore GSK’s commitment to vaccine manufacturing and its efforts to meet global healthcare demands.