Melbourne, Monday 22 May
CSL Seqirus has today announced that construction of its new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Australia has reached its highest point, known as ‘topping out’.
The world-class facility will use innovative technology to produce seasonal and pandemic cell-based influenza vaccines, CSL Seqirus’ vaccine adjuvant technology (MF59®), the world’s only approved human vaccine for Q fever and antivenoms for venomous creatures native to Australia.
The site in Tullamarine, Melbourne, will have a gross floor area of 28,400m2 across three key buildings. Topping out has been marked by the completion of roof laying on these buildings, which will be used for:
- Seasonal and pandemic cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturing
- Antivenoms and Q-Fever vaccine manufacturing, and
- Administration and laboratories
It is on schedule to be operational in 2026 and will support Australia’s preparedness and responsiveness in a future pandemic crisis. The new facility bolsters CSL Seqirus’ and Australia’s sovereign manufacturing capability and underpins a long term partnership with the Federal Government for the supply of seasonal and pandemic influenza pandemic vaccines, antivenoms and Q fever vaccine.
Jonah Smith, Vice President and Program Lead for the CSL Seqirus Tullamarine Manufacturing Facility, says topping out is an important milestone in the journey to completing the world-class facility.
“This will be the only cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere and will provide access to Australian-made innovative vaccines and potentially lifesaving antivenoms. This facility will manufacture influenza vaccines for use in Australia and overseas, creating a supply chain worth more than $300 million annually to the Australian economy.”
“The site will support the future of public health in Australia and we’ve designed it to support a sustainable future for our community. We’re incorporating on-site renewable energy generation, electrifying the plant to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, conducting heat and water recovery. This is also one of the first local manufacturing facilities to pursue 5 star ‘Green Star’ and Gold WELL certification.”
“The new site will also feature a digitally connected manufacturing environment, deploying advanced analytics that will drive innovation and optimise our manufacturing operations. This includes a fully automated and paperless manufacturing execution system that will support our highly skilled workforce to optimise production, improve quality control and reduce downtime.
Jonathan Anderson, CSL Seqirus Executive Medical Director – International Regions, says the innovative technology at the facility will form a key part of Australia’s preparedness for seasonal and pandemic influenza.
“Cell-based vaccines are a significant innovation in influenza vaccine manufacturing as they address several limitations associated with traditional technologies. By making vaccines in cells, we can eliminate the introduction of egg-based mutations that can impact influenza vaccines.”
“We’re seeing influenza return to pre-COVID levels and we’ve experienced early flu seasons in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres recently. Reducing the burden of influenza is a key focus for public health strategies and meeting demand for vaccines is an important aspect of those strategies.”
“Over 200 million doses of cell-based influenza vaccines have been distributed worldwide by CSL Seqirus, with demand doubling in the last two years. Australia will soon be a major contributor in meeting this demand.”
“In the event of an influenza pandemic, this facility would quickly switch to manufacturing strain-matched cell-based pandemic influenza vaccines. Cell-based technology offers scale and production time advantages over the traditional influenza vaccine manufacturing process, an important consideration for pandemic preparedness.”
Dr Anderson also says that producing antivenoms will be an important part of how the facility contributes to the health of Australia and its neighbours.
“Australians love the bush and the beach but unfortunately over 3,000 Australians are hospitalised annually due to injuries caused by venomous creatures. While there are relatively few deaths, it’s important that we’re prepared for venomous bites and stings.”1
“We have been producing antivenoms since the development of tiger snake antivenom in 1930 and through this facility we will continue to help protect Australians in the event of a venomous bite or sting from snakes, spiders and marine life.”2
Mark Baker, BESIX Watpac CEO says, celebrating the topping out is a long-held building tradition and an opportunity to acknowledge the team’s expertise in delivering highly complex bio science and pharmaceutical infrastructure.
"We are thrilled to have reached the topping out milestone for this nationally significant project. Our team's collaborative approach and 40 years of building experience enables us to deliver an outstanding facility that demands the highest level of technical integration and finishing standards. This achievement is a testament to the partnerships we have forged with CSL Seqirus and our subcontractors.”
Investment in Australian manufacturing and biotech workforce
CSL has invested $800 million+ to construct the facility, reinforcing Victoria’s globally significant medical research and biotechnology community.
“This facility will form a key pillar in our world-class influenza vaccine manufacturing network that includes sites in the US and UK. The investment signifies CSL’s strong support for Australia’s biotech manufacturing capabilities and reinforces our confidence in the skills and expertise of the Australian workforce,” says Jonah Smith.
This facility is CSL’s largest capital project underway and is part of the company’s
$2 billion+ investment in Australia which includes the new plasma fractionation facility in Broadmeadows and new global headquarters in Melbourne.
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About CSL Seqirus
CSL Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX: CSL). As one of the largest influenza vaccine providers in the world, CSL 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, CSL Seqirus utilizes egg, cell and adjuvant technologies to offer a broad portfolio of differentiated influenza vaccines in more than 20 countries around the world.
In Australia, CSL Seqirus operates the only local manufacturing facility for seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine and produces a range of unique medicines in the national interest including antivenoms and the world’s only human vaccine for Q fever. The company also in-licenses a broad range of paediatric and adult vaccines and specialty pharmaceutical products.
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 three businesses, CSL Behring, CSL Seqirus and CSL Vifor – provides lifesaving products to patients in more than 100 countries and employs 30,000 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, visit www.csl.com.
This press release is issued from CSL Seqirus in Melbourne, Victoria and is intended to provide information to consumer media. Please be aware that information relating to the approval status and labels of approved CSL Seqirus products may vary from country to country. Please consult your local regulatory authority on the approval status of CSL Seqirus products.
AU-AVAT-23-0011. May 2023.
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2021. Accessed April 2023. https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/78b416bf-0250-4368-89d6-81e2d9f32528/aihw-injcat-215.pdf.aspx
- Venom. Fear, Fascination and Discovery. Edited by Jacqueline Healy and Kenneth D Winkel. Medical History Museum, Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Services, University of Melbourne, 2013.