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CSL welcomes Government commitment to domestic mRNA vaccine development

Onshore mRNA manufacturing will build Australian capability for next generation vaccine technologies

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Melbourne, Australia: CSL welcomes the Government’s plan to further develop onshore mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability.

While mRNA vaccine technology has been explored by researchers for many years, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this technology from what was a promising science to a viable technology platform that can be produced at industrial scale.

CSL’s vaccine business - Seqirus - is one of the world’s leading influenza vaccine companies with Australia’s only onshore influenza vaccine manufacturing facility. For several years, Seqirus has been researching next-generation mRNA – self- amplifying mRNA - for influenza and pre-clinical results appear promising, with human clinical trials due to commence next year.

When administered, self-amplifying mRNA has the capacity to replicate (or amplify) itself.  As a result, far less mRNA may be required in the vaccine formulation to generate equivalent antigen production and an effective immune response. This has been verified in published preclinical studies where lower doses of a self-amplifying mRNA vaccine generate an equivalent or even stronger antibody and cellular immune response compared with current first generation mRNA vaccines.   

“CSL has a 100-year track record as a proven pandemic partner to Australia. Our skilled workforce, deep expertise in biotech manufacturing, global supply network and unwavering promise in responding to the nation’s biosecurity needs is at the heart of who we are – both from our history and still today,” said Dr Russell Basser, Seqirus Senior Vice President, Research & Development.

“We look forward to continued collaboration with the Government on how mRNA vaccine technology might be delivered to Australia.”

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About Seqirus

Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX: CSL). As one of the largest influenza vaccine providers in the world, Seqirus is a major contributor to the prevention of influenza globally and a transcontinental partner in pandemic preparedness. With state-of-the-art production facilities in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia, and leading R&D capabilities, Seqirus utilizes egg, cell and adjuvant technologies to offer a broad portfolio of differentiated influenza vaccines in more than 20 countries around the world.

About CSL

CSL (ASX:CSL; USOTC:CSLLY) is a leading global biotechnology company with a dynamic portfolio of life-saving medicines, including those that treat haemophilia and immune deficiencies, as well as vaccines to prevent influenza. Since our start in 1916, we have been driven by our promise to save lives using the latest technologies. Today, CSL – including our two businesses, CSL Behring and Seqirus – provides life-saving products to more than 70 countries and employs more than 27,000 people. Our unique combination of commercial strength, R&D focus and operational excellence enables us to identify, develop and deliver innovations so our patients can live life to the fullest. For inspiring stories about the promise of biotechnology, visit Vita at CSLBehring.com/Vita and follow us on Twitter.com/CSL

For more information about CSL Limited, visit www.csl.com