Flu vaccine maker Seqirus completes $156M expansion at North Carolina fill-finish facility

Seqirus completed a $156 million expansion project at its Holly Springs, North Carolina, fill-finish manufacturing plant that it started in 2018.

Originally forecast to cost $140 million and be completed by 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the expanded facility and recent FDA approval of its new prefilled syringe line puts Seqirus in a position to support influenza vaccine production for the upcoming seasonal flu season and beyond, the company said.

Seqirus will add more than 80 new skilled positions at the facility, which will produce Flucelvax Quadrivalent, touted as the first and only cell-based influenza vaccine for people aged 6 months or older. The plant will also manufacture Fluad Quadrivalent influenza vaccine for adults 64 and older.

“This new line gives us the ability to more efficiently streamline our production process, allowing us to better meet the needs of our customers and, in turn, better meet the needs of public health,” Dave Ross, vice president of North American operations for Seqirus, said in a statement.

When CSL purchased Novartis’ vaccines group and formed Seqirus in 2015, the Holly Springs facility was making just 3 million doses of cell-based vaccine a year. The plant was originally constructed as part of a 2006 public-private partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2021, BARDA tapped Seqirus to develop two influenza A vaccine candidates for a phase 1 clinical study as part of pandemic preparedness. With the expansion completed, the company said it can now deliver up to 150 million influenza vaccine doses to support an influenza pandemic response as well as cover seasonal influenza vaccine production.