Seqirus announces £40m UK fill-and-finish flu vaccine facility
Seqirus, an influenza vaccine specialist subsidiary of global biotech firm CSL, has announced a £40 million investment into a new fill-and-finish facility at its manufacturing site in Liverpool, UK – a move which the company says will create 88 new high-tech jobs, bringing total staff levels at the site to more than 700.
The wider Liverpool site is responsible for the manufacture of the bulk material for the company’s influenza vaccine range. Traditionally, this material was then shipped to Italy where a contract manufacturer would fill it into vials and syringes, but the establishment of this new facility brings this capability in-house for Seqirus.
The company says this will enable it to meet the growing demand for its adjuvanted flu vaccine for over-65s, as well as “strengthen reliability of supply and bolster pandemic response.” The cost of the new facility brings the company’s total investment in its Liverpool site to more than £60 million since 2015 Seqirus came into being when CSL acquired Novartis’s influenza vaccine business. The facility is due to be operational in 2019.
Business Secretary Greg Clark commented on the move, saying: “Through the Industrial Strategy, the Government is building on our world-leading strengths in research and innovation, and quickening the pace of scientific discovery – backed by £4.7 billion, the largest increase in investment in R&D for 40 years. The new highly skilled manufacturing roles Seqirus is creating here in Merseyside will help develop pioneering vaccines to tackle the global problem of influenza. This investment, achieved by the board, Government and local leaders working together, is a huge vote of confidence our thriving biotechnology sector.”
Gordon Naylor, President of Seqirus, added: “Our Liverpool site, the largest influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe, is well-placed to supply the UK with an enhanced influenza vaccine for people aged 65 years plus. It will also be an export success story, primed to supply this vaccine to countries where it is already licensed in Europe and North America, and to countries in Latin America and Australasia where regulatory submissions are ongoing. This investment is a sign of Seqirus’ continued commitment to public health and to the Liverpool region as a leading biotechnology hub.”
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