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Seqirus Announces Major Advances in Pandemic Preparedness
[August 07, 2017]

Seqirus Announces Major Advances in Pandemic Preparedness

Seqirus, a global leader in the prevention of influenza, announced today that the accelerated development of cell-based manufacturing technology at its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, North Carolina, has delivered a four-fold increase in seasonal influenza vaccine output in just two years, strengthening the United States' capacity to respond to pandemic threats.

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Seqirus marked the 10th anniversary of their pandemic partnership with the U.S. Government by hostin ...

Seqirus marked the 10th anniversary of their pandemic partnership with the U.S. Government by hosting Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price at the Holly Springs, N.C. production site. From left to right: Dr. Rick Bright, Director, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA); Dr. John Anderson, Vice President, Operations, Seqirus; Dr. Tom Price, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Gordon Naylor, President, Seqirus. (Photo: Seqirus)

The announcement was made on the 10th anniversary of a pandemic partnership with the U.S. Government, which was marked by a visit to the Holly Springs site by Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Tom Price. The partnership was established in 2007 in response to the emergence of the H5N1 avian influenza virus as a serious pandemic threat.

The Holly Springs facility was completed in 2012 and promptly designated as critical national infrastructure for pandemic preparedness in the U.S. It harnesses promising cell-based technology as a modern, efficient and highly scalable alternative to traditional egg-based manufacturing that also offers the potential to avoid possible mismatch scenarios in influenza seasons. Additionally, the facility produces the Seqirus proprietary adjuvant, MF59, which ca have a dose-sparing effect, thereby further boosting the output of influenza vaccine during a pandemic emergency.

Seqirus acquired the Holly Springs facility in 2015 and has successfully accelerated development of the technology, quadrupling seasonal influenza vaccine output from 5 million trivalent (three-strain) doses to around 20 million quadrivalent (four-strain) doses in just two years.

At this capacity, Seqirus is able to produce 150 million doses of adjuvanted pandemic vaccine within the first six months of a pandemic declaration, and is also well advanced in delivering surge capacity programs to increase output to 200 million pandemic doses.

"With a global influenza pandemic remaining a real and constant threat, Seqirus is committed to continuing to work with the U.S. Government to realize the full potential of our cell-based manufacturing technology at the Holly Springs site," said Gordon Naylor, President of Seqirus.

"We're proud of the advances we've made in a relatively short period of time, and are confident in our technical ability to deliver significant additional influenza vaccine capacity that can be rapidly utilized during a pandemic emergency."

During his visit to the Holly Springs site, Dr. Price met with Seqirus executives, spoke with scientists and engineers and toured production areas. Following an address to Seqirus staff, the Secretary said, "The Holly Springs facility plays a critical role in our national pandemic strategy and is a real asset in U.S. biosecurity. We continue to appreciate and are reassured by the progress being made by companies like Seqirus that contribute to the nation's preparedness capabilities."

Seqirus was established in 2015 when parent company, CSL Limited, acquired the influenza vaccine business of Novartis. It has a rich heritage in influenza and operates major manufacturing facilities in the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Today, Seqirus is the world's second largest influenza company and a global leader in pandemic preparedness and response.

"With the emergence of H7N9 and other avian influenza viruses with pandemic potential, we are seeing renewed focus on pandemic preparedness by governments around the world," said Mr. Naylor. "As a result, we are leveraging our global manufacturing network to supply pandemic stockpiles and other preparedness services to governments in multiple countries."

Seqirus also recently committed to the World Health Organization in supplying 10% of its influenza vaccine output in real time for use in developing countries in the event of a pandemic.

About Seqirus

Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. The CSL Group of companies employs more than 20,000 people and has 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 the second largest influenza vaccine provider 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 U.K. 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.

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