CSL and the federal government have announced a $1.8 billion deal under which the Australian company will construct a new manufacturing facility in return for a flu vaccine and other product supply commitment.
The facility, which will be constructed at the Melbourne Airport Business Park in Tullamarine, is expected to be operational in 2026.
It will be the only cell-based flu vaccine manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere and produce seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines, the adjuvant MF59 that is being used for the University of Queensland's investigative COVID-19 vaccine, Australian antivenoms and Q-Fever vaccine.
The company's commitment to construct the new facility follows a $1 billion agreement with the federal government for the 12-year supply of flu pandemic vaccines, antivenoms and Q-Fever vaccine.
CSL said its new facility will manufacture product for domestic and export markets, support over 1,000 jobs in Victoria and will have a supply chain worth more than $300 million annually.
The Victorian Government will also contribute to the project.
“Keeping Australians safe is my number one priority and while we are rightly focused on both the health and economic challenges of COVID-19, we must also guard against future threats,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“This agreement cements Australia’s long-term sovereign medical capabilities, giving us the ability to develop vaccines when we need them."
CSL CEO and managing director Paul Perreault said, “Providing safe and effective influenza vaccines is essential in securing our defenses against serious public health threats.
“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-based 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."
Seqirus general manager Stephen Marlow added, “CSL has a proud history of contributing to Australia’s public health needs and this investment will write an exciting new chapter in our story.
“While the facility is located in Australia, it will have a truly global role. Demand for flu vaccines continues to grow each year, in recognition of the importance of influenza vaccination programs. This investment will boost our capacity to ensure as many people as possible – right across the world – can access flu vaccines in the future.”