The Victorian Government has helped secure the construction of a major new biotech manufacturing facility in Melbourne, to help protect the nation against future influenza pandemic threats and safeguard hundreds of jobs.
Seqirus, a subsidiary of Victorian-based global biopharmaceutical leader CSL, will invest more than $800 million to build the state-of-the-art facility at the Melbourne Airport Business Park, with operations expected to start in 2026.
The project will secure more than 1,000 local jobs, generate export contracts and ensure continuing support for hundreds of organisations estimated to be worth $300 million to the local supply chain, helping to boost the state’s economic recovery.
The project is a significant investment in Australia by CSL and will position Victoria at the forefront of the global influenza vaccine market.
The only cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the southern hemisphere, the facility will also produce other life-saving products for the Australian market such as the world’s only Q-Fever vaccine and anti-venom for local snakes, spiders and marine creatures.
An agreement between the Commonwealth Government and Seqirus has secured the supply of these products and influenza pandemic protection for Australia over the next 10 years.
To produce a cell-based influenza vaccine, the influenza virus is isolated and grown in cultured cells rather than grown in chicken eggs. Modern cell-based techniques have key advantages over egg-based methods used since the 1940s, including being more scalable and offering faster production.
The new facility will produce seasonal influenza vaccines for use globally and have the capacity to rapidly scale up vaccine production in response to any future influenza pandemic and guarantee the nation with a priority supply.
Headquartered in Melbourne since its inception in 1916, CSL is one of the world’s leading biotech companies and continues to invest in Victoria due to the quality of the state’s infrastructure, universities and workforce.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula
“The Victorian Government is proud to have provided significant support to secure this vital facility in Melbourne, which will support hundreds of jobs and many more in the supply chain.”
“This investment is a significant coup for Victoria. It positions the state as a global leader in cell-based influenza vaccine production and further boosts our capabilities in R&D, commercialisation and advanced manufacturing.”
Quote attributable to Seqirus general manager Stephen Marlow
“For more than 100 years CSL has been on the front line of the fight against influenza and we are excited to work with Victoria’s world-class talent to deliver the next generation of influenza vaccine technology to Australia.”
Reviewed 15 November 2020