CSL welcomes the Government’s plan to further develop onshore mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability.
While mRNA vaccine technology has been explored by researchers for many years, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this technology from what was a promising science to a viable technology platform that can be produced at industrial scale.
CSL’s vaccine business – Seqirus – is one of the world’s leading influenza vaccine companies with Australia’s only onshore influenza manufacturing facility. For several years, Seqirus has been researching next-generation mRNA – self- amplifying mRNA – for influenza and pre-clinical results appear promising, with human clinical trials due to commence next year.
When administered, self-amplifying mRNA has the capacity to replicate (or amplify) itself. As a result, far less mRNA may be required in the vaccine formulation to generate equivalent antigen production and an effective immune response. This has been verified in published preclinical studies where lower doses of a self-amplifying mRNA vaccine generate an equivalent or even stronger antibody and cellular immune response compared with current first generation mRNA vaccines.
“CSL has a 100-year track record as a proven pandemic partner to Australia. Our skilled workforce, deep expertise in biotech manufacturing, global supply network and unwavering promise in responding to the nation’s biosecurity needs is at the heart of who we are – both from our history and still today,” said Dr Russell Basser, Seqirus Senior Vice President, Research & Development.
“We look forward to continued collaboration with the Government on how mRNA vaccine technology might be delivered to Australia.”