Global biotechnology leader CSL Limited’s (ASX:CSL) wholly-owned subsidiary Seqirus plans to invest more than A$800 million in the construction of a new biotech manufacturing facility in Melbourne to supply influenza vaccines to Australia and the rest of the world.
CSL’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Paul Perreault, said this investment decision follows the agreement with the Australian Government for the supply over 10 years of influenza pandemic protection for the Australian population, anti- venoms for Australian snakes, spiders and marine creatures and Q-Fever vaccine.
The new facility, to be built at a site in the Melbourne Airport Business Park, will use innovative cell-based technology to produce influenza vaccine for both seasonal and pandemic purposes. These products will serve the needs of the Australian population and have capacity to support global markets. Construction of the state-of-the-art plant is expected to commence in 2021 with the facility projected to be operational by mid-2026.
The facility will also manufacture Seqirus’ proprietary adjuvant MF59 – a substance added to some vaccines to improve immune response and to reduce the amount of antigen needed for each vaccine, enabling more doses to be manufactured more rapidly.
Providing safe and effective influenza vaccines is essential in securing our defences against serious public health threats,” Mr Perreault said.
“The facility will be an important addition to our global influenza manufacturing supply chain, incorporating the technology platform used in our Holly Springs, North Carolina facility. Cell-influenza vaccine technology offers many advantages over the existing process including being more scalable and offering faster production – particularly important in the case of influenza pandemics.
“As a proudly Australian company, we are pleased to make this investment in world- class advanced manufacturing. This decision will ensure the future of 1,000+ Science Technology Engineering & Manufacturing jobs in Victoria and a supply chain of more than $300 million annually,” he said.