CSL begins developing new COVID-19 treatment


CSL has announced the development of a new investigational product, with the potential to treat people with serious complications of COVID-19, particularly those whose illness is progressing towards the need for ventilation.

The investigational product, to be known as COVID-19 Immunoglobulin, will be immediately developed onshore in CSL Behring Australia’s advanced manufacturing facility located in Broadmeadows, Victoria.

The product will be developed using donations of plasma made in Australia by people who have recovered from COVID-19. These donors have a high level of antibodies, that will be pooled, purified and concentrated to make COVID-Immunoglobulin – also known as a hyperimmune globulin. These donations will be collected by the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood (Lifeblood).

It is estimated up to 800 plasma donations will be required to produce sufficient COVID-19 Immunoglobulin to treat 50-100 seriously ill people under the clinical trial.

CSL’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Charmaine Gittleson said, “CSL is very pleased to be able to play a role in the response to the current pandemic. Our efforts will leverage the full spectrum of our onshore capabilities, from research and development, through to advanced manufacturing.”

CSL has also formed a global alliance together with Takeda Pharmaceutical, Biotest, BPL, LFB, Octapharma to develop a potential plasma-derived therapy for treating COVID-19. The collaboration will leverage leading-edge expertise and work that the companies already have underway. 

The global life sciences community is rallying together to tackle this global pandemic, in a way never seen before. According to WHO’s latest figures, there are eight candidate vaccines in clinical evaluation, and 94 candidate vaccines in preclinical evaluation across the world. Australian life sciences are proudly involved in many of these partnerships, including Doherty Institute, University of Queensland, Griffith University, GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, CSIRO, Nucleus Network and biolabs360.