CSL to acquire Novartis' influenza vaccine business

Melbourne, Australia — 27/10/2014
CSL Limited has today announced an agreement to acquire Novartis' global influenza vaccine business for US$275 million, which will be combined with CSL's existing vaccines and pharmaceutical subsidiary, bioCSL.
The acquisition will create the second largest vaccine company in the global influenza industry with manufacturing plants in the US, UK, Germany and Australia, a diversified product portfolio and strong pre-pandemic and pandemic capabilities in its major centres of operation.
Like bioCSL, Novartis is currently transitioning its three-strain (trivalent) influenza vaccine brands to four-strain (quadrivalent) formulations through a multi-year clinical program. This includes an adjuvanted influenza vaccine for both elderly and paediatric populations.
The combined business will complete all clinical programs underway and look to market all bioCSL and Novartis influenza vaccine brands in multiple markets over time.
"This will transform bioCSL's existing influenza vaccine business, giving us first class facilities, global scale and product and geographical diversity," said bioCSL's General Manager, Dr John Anderson.
CSL's Parkville facilities in Melbourne will play a key role in the global manufacturing network of the combined business while continuing to offer seasonal influenza vaccine supply and pandemic preparedness and response to Australia.
"bioCSL is absolutely focused on its critical role as Australia's onshore supplier of influenza vaccine, which underpins its pivotal position in both the nation's influenza pandemic preparedness and swift seasonal responses to influenza," he said.
The combined business will continue to in-license and distribute a broad range vaccines and specialty pharmaceuticals, and produce blood typing reagents for local use. It will also continue to manufacture anti-venoms and Q fever vaccine as the world's only supplier of these uniquely Australian medicines.
"While the global scope of our business will expand significantly, bioCSL remains committed to the reliable and timely supply of vaccines and pharmaceutical products in Australia," Dr Anderson said.