HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C., Nov. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Seqirus, a wholly owned subsidiary of CSL Limited and a global leader in influenza prevention, today announced a $140M expansion of its Holly Springs manufacturing facility in North Carolina. The Holly Springs facility is at the center of a growth plan to meet future demand for Seqirus' cell-based quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIVc). Seqirus, the largest cell-based influenza vaccine producer in the world, developed the first cell-based influenza vaccine in the United States (U.S.) for individuals 4 years and above and an adjuvanted influenza vaccine specifically for those 65 years and above.
The expansion will allow Seqirus to increase capacity for formulation, fill and finish manufacturing of cell-based and adjuvanted influenza vaccines for global markets. The development will create 120 permanent highly skilled jobs, adding to the current workforce at the site of more than 600 employees. Construction of the new facility is expected to be complete by 2020, supporting increased fill and finish of influenza vaccine doses as well as enabling Seqirus to produce pandemic influenza vaccines more rapidly.
"According to the CDC, the 2017-2018 influenza season in the U.S. was one of the worst in recent years and influenza continues to be a public health threat," said Gordon Naylor, President, Seqirus. "We are deeply committed to developing innovative solutions, including cell-based vaccines, to help reduce deaths and severe illness caused by influenza. In just three years, we have quadrupled our supply of our cell-based influenza vaccine and this major investment will enable us to meet further demand."
The Holly Springs manufacturing facility was purpose-built in partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to combat pandemic influenza threats.1 BARDA is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This public-private partnership is the first in the world to establish cell-based technology as a highly scalable method of production and has the potential to transform the global influenza vaccine market as we know it today.
An event held today at the Holly Springs site to celebrate the expansion was attended by CSL CEO and Managing Director, Paul Perreault, as well as community members, public health entities, and state officials including, U.S. Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina and Holly Springs Mayor Dick Sears. Senator Burr was the co-author of a significant piece of biosecurity legislation that led to the establishment of BARDA and strengthening of U.S. pandemic preparedness and response.
"Providing safe and effective vaccines to Americans is essential in securing America's defense against serious public health threats. Public-private partnerships like these are a winning formula for spurring innovation and new discoveries, improving our readiness for the threats we face today and in the future," said Senator Burr.
About Seasonal Influenza
Influenza is a common, highly contagious infectious disease that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people. To reduce the risk of more serious outcomes, such as hospitalization and death, resulting from influenza, the CDC encourages annual vaccination for all individuals aged 6 months and older.2 Because transmission to others may occur one day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick, the disease can be easily transmitted to others.3 Influenza can lead to clinical symptoms varying from mild to moderate respiratory illness to severe complications, hospitalization and in some cases death.2 The CDC estimates that 959,000 people in the United States were hospitalized due to influenza-related complications during the 2017-2018 influenza season.4 Since it takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated to help protect them before influenza begins spreading in their community.2
Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The CSL Group of companies employs more than 20,000 people with operations in more than 60 countries.
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.
Dave Minella (Holly Springs, NC)
+1 (919) 802-7641
+1 (908) 608-7170
1 This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under contract numbers HHSO100200600012C, HHSO100200700030C, HHSO100200900101C and HHSO100201200003I.
2 CDC. (2018). Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm Accessed November 2018.
3 CDC. (2018). How flu spreads. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm Accessed November 2018.
4 CDC. (2018). Estimated influenza illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States — 2017–2018 influenza season. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/estimates.htm Accessed November 2018.