Shingles vaccine boost for GSK
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) forecast 2019 sales of its fast-growing shingles vaccine Shingrix to be "significantly" more than £1bn (€1.16bn) on Wednesday as a drop in the British drugmaker's free cash flow weighed on its shares.
Shingrix, launched in 2017, is an important source of growth for chief executive Emma Walmsley, as she strives to improve GSK's commercial performance after streamlining its operations and spinning off or selling units. "Shingrix has delivered another fantastic performance in the quarter," Walmsley said on a media call.
The strength in its vaccines unit, whose sales rose 20pc in the quarter to the end of March, comes at a time when some of GSK's major drugs face generic competition.
Walmsley, who took over as CEO of GSK in 2017, has been looking to re-energise its pharmaceutical business, its biggest unit, buying US cancer specialist Tesaro for $5.1bn to enter the oncology market.