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Struggling Vaccines From Novartis Turn Into Sales Boon for Glaxo

  • Glaxo sees 2016 vaccine sales at nine times Novartis forecast
  • Meningitis shot Bexsero being studied as gonorrhea prevention

Outbreaks of the meningitis B disease in the U.S., along with the social-media frenzy that followed the death of a British toddler, have helped propel sales of GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s vaccine well past initial projections for its use.

The U.K. drugmaker is poised to deliver nine times the 2016 sales Novartis AG had forecast for vaccines including the meningitis B shot Bexsero, said Thomas Breuer, chief medical officer at Glaxo’s vaccines division. Glaxo acquired the business in March 2015, and revenue for vaccines last year was five times what Novartis had estimated, Breuer said.