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28 November, 2017

Influenza specialist investment to create almost 100 jobs

Posted in : November/December 2017 on by : gap personnel

Almost 100 jobs will be created at the Liverpool manufacturing site of influenza vaccine company Seqirus as a result of a major new investment plan.

The Liverpool site manufactures bulk material for a range of influenza vaccines, including an adjuvanted influenza vaccine designed for people aged 65 years and above. The bulk material is currently shipped to Italy where it is filled into vials and syringes by a contract manufacturer.

Seqirus has taken the decision to bring this capability in-house, choosing to invest in a new and expanded fill-and-finish facility on the Liverpool site. The investment will help meet growing demand for its adjuvanted influenza vaccine, strengthen reliability of supply and bolster its response to any future pandemic.

The new fill-and-finish facility will create 88 high-value jobs at the Liverpool site, adding to the 600 already employed there, supporting supplier partnerships and increasing exports.

Seqirus’ adjuvanted influenza vaccine is specifically designed to enhance the immune response in older adults, offering greater protection compared to conventional influenza vaccines. The product is licensed in major global markets and was recently approved in the UK for supply in the 2018/19 influenza season.

It is the only licensed seasonal influenza vaccine of its kind in the world.

Gordon Naylor, president of Seqirus, said: “Our Liverpool site, the largest influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe, is well-placed to supply the UK with an enhanced influenza vaccine for people aged 65 years plus.

“It will also be an export success story, primed to supply this vaccine to countries where it is already licensed in Europe and North America, and to countries in Latin America and Australasia where regulatory submissions are ongoing. This investment is a sign of Seqirus’ continued commitment to public health and to the Liverpool region as a leading biotechnology hub.”

This new £40m project takes the company’s investment in the site to more than £60m since CSL acquired the Novartis influenza vaccine business in July 2015 to create Seqirus.

Dr Laura O’Brien, vice president of operations and site head at Liverpool, said: “Speed is of the essence in a pandemic situation. This investment means we can complete production of more pandemic vaccine much more rapidly, saving vital days in getting vaccines out to protect the British population as well as to other countries in the region.”

The new fill-and-finish facility at the Seqirus site in Liverpool is expected to be operational in 2019.