Melbourne, 14 December 2021 – CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) and its vaccine business, Seqirus, today reaffirms a strong commitment to accelerating its proprietary next-generation self-amplifying mRNA (sa-mRNA) vaccine program. This follows advice from the Australian Government that it will not advance the company’s proposal to construct an onshore mRNA vaccine development and manufacturing facility.
Seqirus, a global leader in influenza prevention, is Australia’s only commercial-scale vaccine manufacturer, and together with CSL Behring is supplying 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Each year, Seqirus’ Australian facilities produce around 30 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccine for the northern and southern hemispheres.
“We are firmly committed to advancing our next-generation sa-mRNA vaccine technology which aims to address some of the challenges presented by the current technology,” said Dr Brian McNamee AO, CSL Chair.
“We will utilise our global network, including research facilities in Cambridge, Massachusetts and clinical scale manufacturing facilities in Holly Springs, North Carolina, to achieve this,” he said.
“Seqirus’ research development program will also benefit from the recent multi-year contract with the United States Department of Health & Human Services to investigate influenza vaccine technologies including sa-mRNA. This builds on our longstanding public-private partnership to provide a rapid response in the event of an influenza pandemic,” he said.
“The company will continue to consider options for an industrial-scale mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility and determine where it is most compatible within our global network,” said Dr McNamee.
As announced in November 2020, a new facility for the manufacture of cell-based influenza vaccines is currently under construction in Melbourne and will open in 2026.
CSL continues to invest in its significant R&D and manufacturing footprint in Australia, with over AUD$2 billion of facility expansion projects currently underway.
The company’s existing contracts to supply Australia with influenza pandemic vaccines, antivenoms and Q-Fever vaccine until 2036 remain in place and it continues to serve the country’s needs for seasonal influenza vaccines each year.
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CSL (ASX:CSL; USOTC:CSLLY) is a leading global biotechnology company with a dynamic portfolio of lifesaving 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 lifesaving products to patients in more than 100 countries and employs more than 25,000 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 CSLBehring.com/Vita and follow us on Twitter.com/CSL.
For more information about CSL Limited, visit www.CSL.com.
About Seqirus’ sa-mRNA
Seqirus is currently developing self-amplifying mRNA-based (sa-mRNA) influenza vaccine candidates, with pre-clinical results demonstrating promising results. Clinical trials for both seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine candidates are planned to commence in the second half of 2022. Seqirus’ sa-mRNA technology holds longer-term potential to expand beyond influenza pandemic threats and could be used to develop vaccines against other pathogens.
More information can be found here