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GE Healthcare and M+W Group form strategic alliance in vaccines, insulin and biopharmaceuticals

GE Healthcare and M+W Group form strategic alliance in vaccines, insulin and biopharmaceuticals

– Companies to help emerging nations develop their own manufacturing capabilities for essential biopharmaceuticals, reducing reliance on imports – Alliance will help healthcare providers worldwide overcome lack of key biopharmaceuticals

Chalfont St Giles, UK and Stuttgart, Germany, 14 December 2011
GE Healthcare, the healthcare business of GE (NYSE: GE) and M+W Group, a leading global engineering, construction and project management company, announced today 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.”

1. www.idf.org/diabetesatlas/5e/the-global-burden
2. www.gatesfoundation.org/vaccines/Pages/overview.aspx

About GE Healthcare: GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems. Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries.  For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.

About M+W Group (www.mwgroup.net): M+W Group is the leading global engineering, construction and project management company in the fields of Advanced Technology Facilities, Life Science & Chemicals, Energy & Environment Technologies and High-Tech Infrastructure. From concept development to turnkey services the company manages projects of all sizes ensuring rapid realization, high quality standards and cost-effective completion. With its competence to link process and automation technologies and complex facilities to integrated solutions M+W Group primarily focuses on leading companies in the fields of electronics, photovoltaics, life science, chemicals, energy, automotive, security and communication, as well as research institutes and universities. M+W Group GmbH is the holding company with headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. In 2010 M+W Group generated an order intake of 2.1 billion euros and revenues of nearly 1.8 billion euros with a workforce of approximately 6,000 employees.
M+W Group is owned by the Austrian Stumpf Group that is globally successful in the areas of High-Tech Engineering, Smart & Renewable Energy, Real Estate and Technology Investments.

Media contact:

GE Healthcare
Dr Val Jones, Global Media Relations Manager
T +44 7917 175 192
E val.jones(at)ge.com

M+W Group
Mr. Michael Gemeinhardt, Head of Group Public Relations
T +49 711 8804-1420
E michael.gemeinhardt(at)mwgroup.net