(Yicai Global) Jan. 2 -- China's Innovax Biotech and British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline have gotten the green light from Chinese authorities to start selling their jointly developed human papillomavirus vaccine which is more than 80 percent cheaper than one of the two earlier options.
Cecolin is suitable for women aged between 9 and 45, the National Medical Products Administration said in a statement on Dec. 31. The vaccine is recommended to be given twice between the ages of 9 and 14.
Cecolin is much more affordable than GSK's imported option of the drug that protects women against cervical cancer. The new immunization program costs between CNY658 and CNY987 (USD95 up), depending on the receiver's age.
China approved the first HPV vaccine in 2016 to address the demand of its people who used to go overseas to get protected. The estimated need involves 356 million women, based on demographics, whereas the volume of doses sold over the past three years was 17 million.
Good sales performance may spur a successful stock market entry. Wantai BioPharm, the parent of Xiamen-based Innovax, got the go-ahead from China's main securities regulator on Dec. 26 to go public. It plans to raise CNY380 million (USD54.6 million) by issuing shares on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
Editor: Emmi Laine