GlaxoSmithKline has joined a global effort to vaccinate children in the world's poorest countries against pneumonia.
The pharmaceutical company, which employs about 5,000 in the Triangle, said it would supply 300 doses of its Synflorix vaccine over a 10-year-period at a steep discount. The drugs have a U.S. value of $1.3 billion but will be discounted by about 90 percent, according to the company.
The New York Times is reporting that the first 20 percent of the vaccines will cost $7 a dose and then drop to $3.50 a dose.
The deal was announced Tuesday by the GAVI Alliance, a nonprofit organization. According to the organization, pneumococcal disesases such as pneumonia and meningitis are the leading cause of death in children under age 5 in developing countries.
The deal was made possible by financing from GAVI, five donor countries (the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Norway and Italy) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jean Stephenne, president of GSK Biologicals, said the first doses are expected to be available in Africa later this year.