CSL has signed an agreement with the Australian government for the supply of 51 million doses of the University of Queensland’s (UQ) COVID-19 vaccine candidate (V451).
In a separate agreement with AstraZeneca it will also manufacture the Oxford University candidate (AZD1222), should clinical trials of both prove successful.
The total number of vaccines ordered by the Australian government is based on a two dose per person regime. Upon completion of successful clinical trials, CSL expects the first tranche of doses to be available by mid-2021.
CSL CEO & Managing Director Paul Perreault said: “The social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a high level of urgency to the task of developing a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and to manufacture a successful vaccine at high quality and in sufficient quantities.
“CSL has been working at pace to respond to the pandemic and has invested significant resources in the rapid development and large-scale manufacture of UQ-CSL V451, along with a number of other therapeutic programs. Together with partners including the University of Queensland and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), our development and manufacturing teams have been working extremely hard to advance this program to ensure the availability of a safe and effective vaccine should clinical studies prove successful,” he said.
The agreement is between CSL’s influenza vaccines company, Seqirus, who will hold regulatory responsibility as the marketing authorisation holder, and the Australian government. Production of the vaccine to support late stage clinical trials has commenced at CSL’s biotech manufacturing facilities in Broadmeadows, Melbourne.
“CSL’s focus is to produce a safe and effective vaccine. It is important that on completion of clinical trials, the public has confidence in UQ-CSL V451, which makes use of the well-established recombinant protein technology platform, and Seqirus’ proprietary adjuvant MF59, which has an extensive safety track record in humans,” Perreault said.
CSL has also agreed with AstraZeneca to manufacture approximately 30 million doses of the AZD1222 vaccine candidate, with first doses planned for release to Australia early next year. AZD1222 requires a two dose per person regime. CSL will manufacture the vaccine from its Australian facilities and schedule production around the UQ-CSL V451 manufacture, as well as manufacture of the company’s vital core therapies.