Jobs created as flu vaccine firm makes major investment

Some 88 high-tech jobs are to be created at the Liverpool manufacturing site of Seqirus, one of the world’s largest influenza vaccine companies, as a result of a £40m investment.

The Liverpool site manufactures bulk material for a range of influenza vaccines, including an adjuvanted influenza vaccine designed for people aged 65 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.

It says the investment will help meet growing demand for its adjuvanted influenza vaccine, strengthen reliability of supply and bolster pandemic response.

Seqirus already contributes over £1bn to the UK economy each year. It says the new ‘fill-and-finish’ facility will help drive economic growth by creating the jobs at the Liverpool site, adding to the 600 already employed there, supporting supplier partnerships and increasing exports.

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.”

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

In addition to its role in the supply of seasonal influenza vaccine, Seqirus is a global leader in pandemic response. The company is contracted by the UK Government to be in constant a state of readiness for the production of pandemic influenza vaccine during a pandemic emergency.

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 Liverpool site will be fully operational in 2019.