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£22m Investment in Liverpool by Global Biopharma Company World's Second Biggest Influenza Vaccine Manufacturer Expands Operations at Speke Site
Today the world's no. 2 influenza vaccine provider, Seqirus, announced a £22.1m investment for its UK manufacturing site in Liverpool.
The company, which is part of global biotherapeutics leader CSL Limited, is going to develop a new £15.3m manufacturing facility to support the production of influenza vaccines at its Speke site.
The announcement came as Seqirus today celebrated the opening of a £6.8m investment in new warehousing facilities at the site.
Seqirus was created in November 2015 following CSL's acquisition of the Novartis influenza vaccines business and the subsequent merger with its existing vaccines and pharmaceutical business, bioCSL. The combined company has over 2,000 employees and operations in more than 20 countries.
Seqirus said the two developments would pave the way for the future expansion of product manufacturing at the Speke site, which plays an important role in Seqirus' global operations. The total investment is expected to increase the site's capacity and export potential, and provide ongoing employment for a highly skilled workforce.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson hailed the investment as further evidence of the city's status as a centre of excellence for global pharmaceutical companies.
The new formulation facility at the plant is expected to be operational by the middle of next year. Its development means that a key part of the influenza vaccine manufacturing process will be brought to the UK, having previously been outsourced to Italy.
There are a total of 600 employees of which 450 are permanent at the Seqirus' Speke facility, which develops, manufactures and exports influenza vaccines across the globe, with many more jobs supported through the supply chain.
Liverpool and the city region is home to over 90 life science companies delivering products and services worth in excess of £1.7 billion per annum and contributing over £300 million in GVA to the local economy.
Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP said: "This investment is fantastic news for Liverpool and another strong endorsement of the UK's leadership in vaccine science, following the establishment of Seqirus' new global office in Maidenhead last year. Their decision to reshore manufacturing activity to Liverpool clearly underlines the attractiveness of the UK and its Northern Powerhouse as a manufacturing and export base for global life science companies."
Mayor Anderson, attending an official opening of the new warehouse facility today (THURSDAY), said: "This is a significant and extremely welcome investment in our city and a signal of our growing status as a centre for the biosciences and pharmaceutical industries.
"One of my pledges was to make Liverpool a business-friendly city and it is great news for the employees here and very encouraging that major multinational companies have such confidence in the city."
Stephen Marlow, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing Operations for Seqirus, said: "Our investment in the new formulation facility will enable us to bring a significant tranche of the influenza vaccine manufacturing process to the UK and in-house. It gives us the ability to ensure the highest quality production standards are maintained and will also allow us to offer new career opportunities for our talented Liverpool workforce.
"It's a sign of our commitment to the city and our confidence in Liverpool as a good place for Seqirus to house a major part of our global influenza vaccine manufacturing network."
Ellen Cutler, Director of Invest Liverpool (part of Liverpool Vision), said: "The growth of the city's life science and biotech sector is a strategic priority for us and investment decisions such as this one reinforce our view that we have a compelling offer in terms of skills and infrastructure.
"Companies such as Seqirus are responsible for the creation of extremely high value jobs, for helping to expand the talent pool here and for putting us on the map as a potential location for pharma companies."