Coronavirus is quite different to influenza virus so it is not a core area of focus for CSL or Seqirus. However, we have investigated possible adjacencies in expertise, technologies and facilities that might be able to contribute to the global effort and are pleased to advise that we have partnered with the University of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine development program. We will provide technical expertise as well as a donation of Seqirus’ propriety adjuvant technology, MF59, to their pre-clinical development program.
Adjuvants are used in vaccines to create a stronger immune response and to speed vaccine production and output. Seqirus’ adjuvant technology has a long history of use and a strong safety profile in both seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines. The University of Queensland will use the adjuvant to test the viral protein they are developing with their molecular clamp technology.
The University of Queensland’s research program is just starting and it will be some months before the success of the program will be known. In the pre-clinical development stage, this is a humanitarian effort, not a commercial one, and CSL is contributing its support to our partners due to the critical need of this public health emergency.
In parallel with this initiative, we continue to prioritise the safety and security of our employees in Wuhan and we are monitoring, every day, the health of our 600 employees in China.
In recognition of the impact on the communities within which we operate, CSL has also committed a donation of 1 million RMB to the China Red Cross in support of efforts to combat the epidemic.