Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has said it had sealed a joint venture with Chinese biotechnology group Shenzhen Neptunus focused on making flu vaccines for China and neighbouring territories.
"The alliance will develop and manufacture influenza vaccines for China, Hong Kong and Macau," GSK said in a statement on Tuesday.
"This will include vaccines for seasonal, pre-pandemic and pandemic influenza. It is expected that these vaccines will become available over the next few years," added the British company.
GSK will take a 40 percent stake in the joint venture at a cost of 21 million pounds (24 million euros, 34 million dollars) in cash and assets. Shenzhen Neptunus' 60 percent stake will cost the equivalent of 31 million pounds.
Completion of the deal was expected in the fourth quarter of 2009, subject to regulatory approval.