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GE Healthcare and M+W Group Form Strategic Alliance in Vaccines, Insulin and Biopharmaceuticals

Published: Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2011
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Companies to help emerging nations develop their own manufacturing capabilities for essential biopharmaceuticals, reducing reliance on imports.

GE Healthcare and M+W Group announced that the companies have formed a strategic alliance aimed at overcoming the lack of key biopharmaceuticals, especially in emerging nations. The alliance, which will combine GE Healthcare’s expertise in technologies for biopharmaceutical manufacture with M+W Group’s global capabilities in bio-engineering and construction, will assist countries worldwide to become self-sufficient in the manufacture of vital biopharmaceuticals such as vaccines, insulin and biosimilars. Together, the companies will offer governments and pharmaceutical companies an integrated, cost-competitive “turn-key” approach for the construction of biopharmaceutical manufacturing plants, to help meet the rapidly increasing worldwide demand for these potentially life-saving treatments. The alliance between the two companies aligns with GE’s healthymagination initiative, which focuses on reducing cost, increasing access and improving quality in healthcare.

Worldwide demand for vaccines, insulin and other biopharmaceuticals such as antibodies to treat cancer and rheumatoid arthritis is increasing dramatically, driven by the global ageing population, rising obesity levels and the global effort to reduce the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases. Many countries have limited capabilities for the manufacture of these products, resulting in considerable unmet health needs. According to the International Diabetes Federation1, 366 million people have diabetes in 2011, predicted to rise to 552 million by 2030. 80% of people with diabetes live in low-and middle income countries, where insulin can be unaffordable and difficult to access. On vaccination, the Gates Foundation estimates that worldwide, 21% of children do not have access to needed vaccines and that annually, 2.4 million children die from preventable diseases despite the availability of effective vaccines2. The introduction of local “in country-for country” flexible manufacturing capabilities would help overcome this critical health gap.

Olivier Loeillot, General Manager of Enterprise Solutions, GE Healthcare Life Sciences said “We’re delighted to form this alliance with M+W Group, who share our vision of bringing affordable and flexible manufacturing capabilities to countries worldwide, especially the emerging nations. This is a big step forward in bringing better, more affordable healthcare to more people. M+W are one of the foremost global engineering companies in bioengineering. By working together to bring an integrated offering – from financing and construction of the plant, right through to training of the operational staff - we can make it much easier for governments to set up their own facilities.”

Dr. Tobias Lücke, the Managing Director of M+W Process Industries, specialized in Life Science solutions, said. “Our global capabilities and strong track record over more than 18 years of delivering high technology facilities for the biotechnology industry is a great fit with the world-class bioprocessing expertise of GE Healthcare. Combining the experience and know-how of our respective companies will bring a new turnkey approach to the much needed local manufacture of potentially life-saving medicines and vaccines. We are delighted to be working together to make a real difference to healthcare delivery world-wide.”

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