Research and development

Driving scientific innovation to deliver the next generation of transformational medicines and vaccines for patients

We are a science-led global healthcare company. Our purpose is to help people do more, feel better, live longer.

We deliver our long-term priorities of Innovation, Performance and Trust through each of our three businesses which discover, develop and manufacture innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products.

Our approach to Pharmaceutical Research and Development (R&D) focuses on science related to the immune system, the use of human genetics and advanced technologies, and is driven by the multiplier effect of Science x Technology x Culture. It will help us to accelerate the pace at which we develop and deliver transformational medicines, prioritising those molecules with a higher probability of success and terminating less promising programmes. It also enables us to increase our focus on specialty medicines in areas such as oncology.

In our Vaccines business, we balance our focus on a robust pipeline with the active life-cycle management of our existing vaccines, seeking to protect more people through expanding indications and delivering our vaccines to new geographies. Our Innovation ambition is to lead the industry by disrupting the discovery, development and manufacturing of vaccines. We will focus on accelerating key assets in our pipeline and looking at innovative technologies so that we can unlock potential in emerging fields. Using our industry-leading science, we will accelerate the delivery of our most promising assets to serve the greatest unmet medical need. We want to change the world with our science.

Our Consumer Healthcare R&D organisation develops products in five categories: Oral Health, Pain Relief, Respiratory, Nutrition and Gastrointestinal and Skin Health. Our focus is on building a strong, competitive pipeline of consumer-led, science-based innovation. On 1 August 2019 we announced that we'd completed our transaction with Pfizer to combine our consumer healthcare businesses into a new world-leading Consumer Healthcare Joint Venture. Within three years of the closing of the transaction, we intend to separate the Joint Venture via a demerger. With our future intention to separate, the transaction also presents a clear pathway forward for us to create a new global Pharmaceuticals/Vaccines company, and a new world-leading Consumer Healthcare company. Find out more

Key facts about R&D at GSK

  • 16,000

    Over 16,000 people working across our three global businesses

  • £3.9bn

    The amount we invested in R&D globally in 2018

  • 150

    Our Vaccines business has around 150 external scientific collaborations

Q2 2019 pipeline and newsflow highlights

We invest in scientific and technical excellence to develop and launch a pipeline of new products that meet the needs of patients and payers. Here’s some of our recent progress:


  • Positive headline results from PRIMA trial for Zejula as 1L maintenance therapy for ovarian cancer regardless of biomarker status. Full results to be presented at an upcoming scientific conference 
  • sNDA accepted by FDA for Zejula for priority review in late stage ovarian cancer following QUADRA trial
  • Bintrafusp alfa (M7824) alliance with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany progressed to pivotal phase III in biliary tract cancer
  • Positive ICOS phase II data in solid tumours to be presented at an upcoming scientific conference


  • Two-drug regimen Dovato (DTG+lamivudine) approved in Europe for treatment naïve HIV patients
  • Positive 96-week follow-up data from GEMINI study of Dovato versus three-drug regimen and positive TANGO study demonstrating efficacy of switching treatment experienced patients to Dovato to be presented at IAS
  • ATLAS study for eight-week dosing of cabotegravir + rilpivirine expected in Q3


  • Nucala for severe asthma approved in US for new at-home self-administration option
  • Positive results from pivotal CAPTAIN study for Trelegy Ellipta in asthma


  • Shingrix approved in China for prevention of shingles in adults aged 50 and over

Phase III start for otilimab (anti-GM-CSF) for rheumatoid arthritis

For H2 2019, six potential major regulatory submissions: Zejula 1L ovarian cancer, belantamab mafodotin in multiple myeloma; dostarlimab in endometrial cancer; Trelegy Ellipta in asthma; fostemsavir in HIV; daprodustat for anaemia (Japan)

View our pipeline


Our focus areas What we're working on

We are strengthening our pipeline through a focus on science related to the immune system, the use of human genetics and advanced technologies. Our early stage research is not constrained by therapy areas with teams actively encouraged to follow the science. As projects progress potential new medicines are aligned to the therapy area where data shows we can have the greatest impact to the largest number of patients’ lives.

Our current therapy areas of focus are Oncology, HIV, Infectious Diseases, Immuno-inflammation, Respiratory and Vaccines.

Learn more about our focus areas


Partnerships Partnering with GSK

Partnerships are key to our innovation. That's why collaborating with other businesses is a fundamental part of our business strategy. We are committed to working with partners to deliver the next generation of medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products.


Learn more


Join us

In R&D we believe that outstanding talent attracts outstanding talent, so we demand, develop and retain the very best people. If you want to work in a culture that incentivises courageous and smart risk-taking to help deliver the next generation of transformational medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products please visit our careers section.

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