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GSK to create a new Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Chemistry in Brazil

Issued: Friday 25 October 2013, London UK São Paulo, Brazil

GSK today announced it has formed a new collaboration with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) to create a new Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Chemistry in Brazil. The agreement was reached today after a meeting with Rogerio Ribeiro, Senior Vice President, Emerging Markets Asia Pacific, GSK and Geraldo Alckmin Governor of São Paulo State and Celso Lafer, President of FAFESP.

Rogerio Ribeiro, Senior Vice President, Emerging Markets Asia Pacific, GSK said: GSK has a vibrant and growing business in Brazil and, as part of our continued investment in science in Brazil, we are delighted to announce our support for the new sustainable chemistry centre. This will be an important enabler towards our goal of reducing the environmental impact of both the discovery and subsequent manufacturing of drugs to help us meet our target of being carbon neutral by 2050.

The Centre of Excellence will be located in the state of São Paulo and will focus on sustainable chemistries most relevant to the discovery and development of medicines. GSK has agreed in principle to co-fund the centre with FAPESP, investing approximately £400,000 per year during a ten-year collaboration which will be matched by FAPESP.

GSK is already supporting a Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Chemistry in the UK based at The University of Nottingham. Once the new centre in São Paulo is established, it will form scientific links with GSK and The University of Nottingham to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and expertise between Brazilian and UK researchers.

Celso Lafer, President of FAPESP said: “FAPESP has formed partnerships to create world class research centres, such as this new collaboration with GSK. By applying interdisciplinary approaches to complex scientific challenges through this collaboration with GSK, FAPESP contributes to a knowledge advance in sustainable chemistry and the development of applications in areas of common interest.

Professor Chris Moody, Sir Jesse Boot Professor at the University of Nottingham, said: “We are delighted to extend our collaboration with GSK into this new venture in Brazil. The Nottingham Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Chemistry that will be housed in a unique Carbon Neutral Building now being built on our Jubilee Campus, will be ideally placed to run a wide range of collaborative projects. We are looking forward to working with Brazilian colleagues.”

This latest announcement builds on GSK’s existing partnership with FAPESP to build a sustainable, long-term scientific research presence in Brazil. Through its ‘Trust in Science’ programme, GSK aims to support outstanding scientific groups in Latin America to validate and explore compelling ideas to treat priority diseases, including those that have a substantial impact on the health of Latin America.

About the Center of Excellence for Sustainable Chemistry

Through the collaboration, the new centre in Brazil will take a multi-disciplinary approach to exploring all aspects of more sustainable chemistry, including improving synthetic efficiency, sustainable solvents and renewable feedstocks from agricultural waste. This will make a key contribution to defining a new paradigm in the discovery and manufacturing of medicines that will help reduce the impact on the environment, whilst optimising the use of increasingly scarce natural resources.

The proposal will generate alternatives for processes and reagents used in the pharmaceutical industry which will allow the company to embed new sustainable chemistries within GSK and directly contribute to our carbon neutral goals.

Under the terms of the agreement, there will be a call for proposal to universities located in State of São Paulo which will be responsible for implementing the project in Brazil.

A joint steering committee with representation from GSK, FAPESP and The University of Nottingham will be formed to oversee the creation of the centre and set its strategic direction.

Notes to editors

GSK’s environmental strategy announced in 2011 has an objective that the company’s value chain will become carbon neutral by 2050. Adopting sustainable chemistries from the start of the drug discovery process will help to reduce the impact of both the discovery and subsequent manufacturing of drugs on the environment, whilst optimising the use of increasingly scarce natural resources.

Key elements of GSK’s environment strategy include:

  • A commitment to a long-term goal for company operations and the value chain to be carbon neutral by 2050. This target means there will be no net greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing, distribution, use and disposal of products and the sourcing of raw materials.
  • Interim targets to reduce GSK’s overall carbon footprint by 10% by 2015 and 25% by 2020.
  • Target set to reduce GSK’s operational water consumption by 20% by 2015 and its value chain water impact by 20% by 2020 and to reduce waste to landfill from operations by 25% by 2015 and to zero by 2020.
  • Delivering sustainable operations with financial benefits – the company estimates it can save £100m per annum by 2020 through reduced energy, materials and distribution costs.

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The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) is one of the major funding agencies for scientific research in Brazil. Its mission is to foster scientific research in all fields of knowledge by awarding fellowships and grants to investigators in higher education or research institutions in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. The Foundation maintains cooperative agreements for co-funding research with national and international research funding bodies, foreign institutions of higher education and research, and private companies.

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Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect GSK' s operations are described under Item 3.D 'Risk factors' in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2012.