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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Analyst Report) boasts of a strong vaccine portfolio, which includes vaccines like Infanrix/Pediarix, Rotarix, Synflorix and Cervarix. Glaxo has a strong vaccine segment, which generated sales of £2.5 billion in the first nine months of 2013, approximately 12.5% of the total product sales of the company.

Synflorix is approved for active immunization against pneumonia caused by streptococcus pneumoniae in children aged between 6 weeks and 5 years in 67 countries. Apart from this, Synflorix is also approved for active immunization against invasive disease and acute otitis media caused by streptococcus pneumoniae in children aged between 6 weeks and 5 years in the EU and 90 other countries. As of now, Synflorix is not approved in the U.S. for any indication.

Glaxo is looking to expand the Synflorix label in Europe to include the pneumonia indication. The European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use has recommended the approval of Synflorix for active immunization against pneumonia caused by streptococcus pneumoniae in children aged between 6 weeks and 5 years. A decision from the European Commission is expected by Dec 31, 2013.

Glaxo, a large cap pharma company, carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We are pleased with Glaxo’s pipeline development efforts. A number of pipeline-related news is expected in the coming quarters including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision on UMEC/VI (target date: Dec 18, 2013) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We believe Glaxo’s pipeline must deliver since sales of many of its key products are declining due to generic competition.

Other large-cap pharma stocks such as Roche (RHHBY - Analyst Report), Bayer (BAYRY - Analyst Report) and Johnson and Johnson (JNJ - Analyst Report) currently appear to be more attractive. While Roche carries a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy), Bayer and Johnson and Johnson carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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