CSL Limited has officially opened the CSL Behring Biotechnology Manufacturing Facility in Broadmeadows, Melbourne, which is expected to play a key role in the company’s global development strategy.
The opening ceremony for the new facility was attended by the Hon. Ian Macfarlane MP, Minister for Industry; the Hon. Denis Napthine MP, Premier of Victoria; and the Hon. Gordon Rich-Phillips MLC, Minister for Technology, Victoria.
According to the media release by CSL, the new state-of-the art facility, which is adjacent to the company’s plant for plasma products, is one of the biggest and most advanced facilities of its kind in Australia and will produce novel recombinant therapies on a large scale for international clinical trials.
The first therapy to be manufactured in the new biotech facility will be a novel blood clotting factor (rVIIa-FP) for treating haemophilia, which is scheduled to undergo clinical trials later this year in the US, Australia and Europe. The rVIIa-FP is one of the several longer-acting clotting factors currently under development by CSL with a specific goal of reducing the number of injections required to maintain normal blood clotting in people with bleeding disorders.
“This world-class facility is key to the ongoing success of our global R&D strategy and reflects our commitment to provide better treatment options for people who suffer from bleeding disorders and other life-threatening conditions,” CSL’s CEO and Managing Director, Paul Perreault said at the opening ceremony.
“Outstanding Australian science was a key driver for CSL’s investment decision. It made sense to complement our excellent research capabilities here with the facilities to advance innovative science through to clinical trials.”
The strategic co-investment from the Australian and Victorian Governments was pivotal in realising the project, which is part of a $257 million manufacturing expansion at the Broadmeadows site. The total investment is expected to quadruple Broadmeadows’ manufacturing capacity and export potential by 2018 and create more than 240 highly skilled jobs.
“We acknowledge both the Federal and Victorian Governments for helping to bring this world-class facility to fruition. It shows a strong commitment to the ongoing development of the biotechnology sector and advanced manufacturing as an important part of Australia’s future,” said Mr Perreault.
“The ongoing development of new and improved therapies for haemophilia couldn’t be more important to the bleeding disorder community. It’s very heartening to see CSL working with governments in Australia to invest in new technologies and facilities that may benefit people with haemophilia all around the world.” said Mr Alain Weill, President of the World Federation of Haemophilia, who was also present at the opening ceremony.