Seqirus, a global leader in influenza prevention, has officially opened its new European Centre of Excellence for Research & Development (R&D) and Quality in the Amsterdam-Zuidoost district of Amsterdam.
The €10 million centre of excellence, which includes office space and a new Quality laboratory, will be overseen by Amsterdam Managing Director, Mendel Haag. It will host 40 employees, with plans for more to join the team in the future.
The move to a new location in Amsterdam is prompted by continued investment in the research and development of Seqirus’ differentiated influenza vaccines to match growing demand.
The addition of a testing and release laboratory in the European Union is part of Seqirus’ business continuity plan to ensure regulatory compliance for the release of influenza vaccines to European countries when the United Kingdom exits the Union.
Ken Lim, Seqirus’ Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Services attended the opening and commented:
“We are expanding our R&D efforts in Europe and chose Amsterdam as the location for a new Centre of Excellence. Our vision is to harness scientific thinking and expertise to develop novel approaches to tackling influenza. Products that are researched, licensed, and released from Amsterdam will contribute to positive outcomes for influenza worldwide.
“Amsterdam, as the centre of a network of international businesses, and a flourishing research and development economy, was a natural choice.”
D. Osterhaus, Chairman of the European Scientific Working Group on Influenza, also attended the opening and added:
“The implementation of novel and faster vaccine production platforms will lead to influenza vaccines that offer better, broader, and longer-lasting protection. I am very pleased to see that Seqirus has opened its center of excellence for research and development here in Amsterdam, my hometown, to meet such critical requirements that will improve our response to influenza related morbidity and mortality.”
The investment in Amsterdam follows similar announcements in the UK - for additional production lines at Seqirus’ manufacturing site in Liverpool and an increase in office space at global headquarters in Maidenhead – and in Italy with a move to new offices in Siena.
About seasonal influenza
Seasonal influenza is a common, highly contagious infectious disease that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimates that 15,000 – 70,000 people in Europe die from influenza-related complications each year, and encourages annual vaccination as the most effective way to prevent influenza.1 In The Netherlands, 900,000 people had a symptomatic infection caused by the influenza virus in the 2017-2018 influenza season and 16,000 were hospitalised due to complications.2
Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Seqirus was established on 31 July 2015 following CSL’s acquisition of the Novartis influenza vaccines business and its subsequent integration with bioCSL. 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. Seqirus operates state-of-the-art production facilities in the U.S., the UK and Australia, and manufactures influenza vaccines using both egg-based and cell-based technologies. It has leading R&D capabilities, a broad portfolio of differentiated products and a commercial presence in more than 20 countries. For more information visit www.seqirus.com.
CSL (ASX:CSL) 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 60 countries and employs more than 22,000 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 more information visit www.csl.com.
For more information, images of the opening and interview requests with Mendel Haag, please contact:
Het PR Bureau
Marie-Claire Schimmelpenninck van der Oije
M: +31 6460 36 297
1 ECDC. Factsheet about seasonal influenza. Retrieved from: https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/seasonal-influenza/facts/factsheet. Accessed September 2019.
2 National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. How well does the flu vaccine work? Retrieved from: https://rijksvaccinatieprogramma.nl/sites/default/files/2019-01/Wim%20van%20der%20Hoek%20-%20How%20well%20does%20the%20flu%20vaccine%20work.pdf. Accessed September 2019.