- ASX 200-listed biotech giant CSL Limited is set to build a new influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in Melbourne.
- The Company intends to invest over A$800 million to optimise cell-based technology.
- Construction of the plant is anticipated to start in 2021, and the facility is likely to be operational by mid-2026.
ASX 200-listed CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) made headlines this morning after the biotech behemoth announced to build a new vaccine manufacturing facility in Melbourne.
Following the announcement, the share price of CSL was noted at A$315.040, up by 1.803% at AEDT 01:10 PM. The Company has a market capitalisation of almost A$140.79 billion.
Let us discuss CSL’s plan to invest in the construction of a new vaccine manufacturing facility-
CSL’s Next-generation influenza vaccine manufacturing facility
On 16 November 2020, CSL Limited announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Seqirus, plans to invest over A$800 million in the construction of a new biotech manufacturing facility to supply influenza vaccines across Australia and worldwide.
The facility will also manufacture the vaccine division’s proprietary adjuvant MF59®. The substance is added to specific vaccines for improvement in the immune response and to decrease the antigen amount required for each vaccine. This will enable more doses of vaccine to be manufactured at a rapid pace.
The new facility will use innovative cell-based technology for manufacturing of influenza vaccine for seasonal as well as pandemic purposes. The Company is confident that these products can support global markets and will serve the requirements of the Australians.
CSL stated that the new vaccine facility would be a valuable addition to the global influenza manufacturing supply chain of the Company. Moreover, cell-influenza vaccine technology offers several benefits over the existing process, including being more scalable and offering faster production that is particularly important for influenza pandemics.
The Company disclosed that construction of the state-of-the-art plant is anticipated to start in 2021. The facility is likely to be fully operational by mid-2026.
CSL’s agreement with the Australian government
CSL also notified that this investment decision follows the agreement with the government of Australia to supply vaccines for more than ten years of influenza pandemic protection for the Australian population.
The facility is expected to manufacture influenza pandemic vaccines such as Q-fever vaccines and anti-venoms for Australian animals, including marine creatures, snakes, and spiders.
The Victorian Government will also add to the project to bolster the globally substantial medical research and biotechnology community of Victoria.
Paul Perreault CSL’s CEO and Managing Director commented-
CSL Limited has been actively involved in COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and had earlier signed two separate agreements with the Australian government and UK-based biopharmaceutical player AstraZeneca (LON:AZN). The total quantity, as part of the two deals, amounts to 81 million doses.