Seqirus, an influenza vaccine provider, has announced plans to build a world-class biotech manufacturing facility in Australia to supply influenza vaccines to Australia and the world.
The facility will use cell-based technology to produce influenza vaccines for use in influenza pandemic and seasonal vaccine programs and, when completed, is known to be the only cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the southern hemisphere.
The facility also manufactures Seqirus’ proprietary adjuvant MF59, a substance added to some vaccines to improve the immune response and reduce the amount of antigen required for each vaccine, allowing higher doses to be manufactured faster.
In addition, the facility will produce unique products important to Australia’s public health needs, including an antidote to Australian snakes, spiders and marine life, and the world’s only Q-Fever vaccine.
Seqirus is a wholly owned subsidiary of CSL Limited, which will invest more than $800 million in capital expenditures to build the facility. The building is expected to operate until mid-2026.
Seqirus will also invest significant ongoing capital in advanced manufacturing biopharmaceutical facilities over the next few years. The company manufactures products for domestic and export markets, supports the future of over 1000 STEM jobs in Victoria, and will have a supply chain of over $300 million per year.
The Victorian Government will also contribute to the project by strengthening Victoria’s already globally important medical research and biotechnology community.
The announcement follows an agreement with the Australian Government to ensure continued onshore manufacturing and supply of influenza pandemic vaccines, flu vaccines and Q-Fever vaccines for more than 10 years.
“Providing a safe and effective influenza vaccine is essential to securing defense against serious public health threats,” said Paul Perreault, CSL CEO and Managing Director.
“This facility will be an important addition to the global influenza manufacturing supply chain by integrating the technology platform used by our Holly Springs facility in North Carolina. Cell-based influenza vaccine technology offers many advantages over conventional processes, including highly scalable and faster production. This is especially important in the case of the influenza pandemic,” Perreault said.
Seqirus General Manager Stephen Marlow added: “CSL has a proud history of contributing to Australia’s public health needs and this investment will take an exciting new chapter in our story.
“This facility is in Australia, but it will play a truly global role. The demand for flu vaccine continues to grow every year, recognizing the importance of influenza vaccine programs. This investment will improve our ability to make flu vaccines accessible to as many people as possible-around the world-in the future. “