Daiichi Sankyo and GlaxoSmithKline are teaming up to set up a joint venture to develop and market vaccines products in Japan, where the vaccine section is relatively underdeveloped comparing with its prescription drug market.

vaccine joint ventureThe Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo and its Bristish partner GlaxoSmithKline will hold an equal stake in the newly established company Japan Vaccine Co. venture, which will be the largest vaccines company in Japan, according to the companies.

The vaccine company, which has an initial capitalization of $1.2 million, will start operations in July. The two partners will split any profits from the joint venture equally.

Initially Daiichi Sankyo and GlaxoSmithKline will sell their respective vaccine products, including GSK’s Cervarix for human papillomavirus and Rotarix for rotavirus, and vaccines for flu, mumps, diphtheria pertussis and measles rubella to the joint venture, which will be expanded as new vaccines in the development pipeline are approved.

The total Japan vaccine market values at around 140 billion yen last financial year. With GSK’s vaccine sales of 52 billion yen in Japan, and Daiichi’s vaccine sales at about 18 billion yen, the two partners hold half the vaccine market share in Japan last year.

Christophe Weber, president-designate of GSK Vaccines, said the new company “will create further significant economies of scale in the development and distribution of vaccines in the Japanese market”.

“This collaboration marks another step in our strategy to build our presence in key growth markets and will create the first and largest company dedicated solely to vaccines in Japan,”  he added.