CSL Limited

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CSL Limited
Traded asASXCSL
Founded1916 (Federal government department), 1994 (privatised)
HeadquartersParkville, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia[1]
Key people
Paul Perreault (CEO)
Productsblood plasma, vaccines, antivenom, other laboratory and medical products
RevenueIncrease USD$8.539 billion (2019)[1]
Increase USD$1.919 billion (2019)[1]
Number of employees
25,000 person (2019)[1]
  • CSL Behring
  • Seqirus

CSL Limited is a global specialty biotechnology company that researches, develops, manufactures, and markets products to treat and prevent serious human medical conditions. CSL's product areas include blood plasma derivatives, vaccines, antivenom, and cell culture reagents used in various medical and genetic research and manufacturing applications.[2]


CSL was founded in 1916 as the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, an Australian government body focused on vaccine manufacture.[3] Under the first director, William Penfold,[4] CSL commenced operation in the vacant Walter and Eliza Hall Institute building at the Melbourne Hospital in 1918, before moving to its purpose-built Parkville premises in the following year. After ongoing disputes with the Commonwealth Department of Health and its director, (John) Howard Cumpston, Penfold resigned in 1927 and was replaced by Frederic Morgan.[5] Soon after Morgan's appointment, CSL was drawn into a serious public health disaster when a batch of its diphtheria toxin-antitoxin was implicated in the deaths of twelve children in what became known as the 'Bundaberg tragedy' of 1928. Although CSL's manufacturing processes were absolved, its labelling procedures were seen to be in error, leading to an enduring focus on the highest standards across the facility's production.[6]

In 1928, CSL also became involved in antivenene (antivenom) manufacture in conjunction with the snake venom research undertaken by Charles Kellaway at the Hall Institute.[7] This led to the successful clinical testing of antivenene against tiger snake Notechis scutatus bite in 1930, and its commercial release in 1931. In 1934, the research on snake venoms was transferred from the Hall Institute to CSL under the direction of former snake showman, Tom 'Pambo' Eades. This represented the initiation of research at the laboratories – an outcome its directors had been seeking for over a decade. The relationship with the Hall Institute continued until World War II, particularly via joint projects on viral diseases including polio and influenza coordinated by Frank Macfarlane Burnet and Esmond 'Bill' Keogh. Keogh played an important role in the establishment of penicillin production at CSL in 1944 – a critical wartime achievement.[8]

The operation commenced plasma fractionation in 1952.[9] Thereafter the range of antivenoms increased, including those against other snake species such as death adder (Acanthophis antarcticus) and the taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus), plus spiders including the redback (Latrodectus hasselti) and – after much difficulty – the Sydney funnel-web (Atrax robustus). Much of this work, including the introduction in 1962 of a polyvalent antivenom against all of the major terrestrial Australian snakes, occurred under the direction of Saul Wiener, while from 1966 until the mid-1990s, venom research was coordinated by the eccentric but dedicated Struan Sutherland, who in 1979 released new guidelines for snakebite first aid,[10] and a new test for snakebites that would identify which snake had envenomated the victim.[11]

Other major achievements of CSL include:[12]

In 1994, the Commonwealth facility was privatised as CSL Ltd. In 2000 CSL doubled its size through the purchase of a Swiss plasma company, the Bern-based ZLB Bioplasma AG. In 2004, during a period of plasma oversupply, the company expanded again with the purchase of the German medical company Aventis Behring. The company was the 2nd Australian public company to have reached a share price of over $100 per share.[citation needed]

In 2011, the company received the Minister's Award for Outstanding Equal Employment Opportunities Initiative for their Thinking Kids Children's Centre.[14]

In October 2014, Novartis announced its intention to sell its influenza vaccine business, including its development pipeline, to CSL for $275 million. CSL merged it into its BioCSL operation.[15] In November 2015, BioCSL rebranded the combined business with Novartis Influenza Vaccines as Seqirus [Sek-eer-us] creating the world's second largest influenza vaccine company.[16] Completed in 2018, Seqirus's Holly Spring, NC, plant was funded with $59 million from the U.S. government.[17]


The company's headquarters remain in Parkville, Victoria, an inner suburb of Melbourne. CSL Behring is headquartered in King of Prussia, USA and it has manufacturing operations and R&D laboratories in the Swiss city of Bern, in Marburg in Germany, and Kankakee, USA.

Seqirus has its headquarters in Maidenhead and has production facilities in Holly Springs, USA, Liverpool, UK, and Parkville, Victoria


CSL is a public company and its stock is traded on the Australian Securities Exchange under the stock code CSL. The company completed an initial public offering in June 1994 at A$2.30 per share. CSL stock is part of the S&P/ASX 20 Index.[18]


A/H1N1 2009 pandemic[edit]

CSL's vaccine for swine flu, the world's first, was approved in September 2009 for use by people over age 10.[19] The federal government ordered 21 million doses of vaccine for Australians.[20] CSL also provided vaccines for customers in Singapore and the US.

COVID-19 pandemic[edit]

On 7 September 2020, CSL signed agreements with the Australian government to supply the University of Queensland vaccine (V451) and to manufacture (with AstraZeneca) the Oxford University vaccine (AZD1222), which would yield nearly 85 million doses for Australians. The agreement was contingent on the future success of clinical trials of these vaccines. Most of the manufacture would occur in Melbourne, Australia.[21][22]


CSL Limited's products can be separated by company division. Some of the key products produced by each division, have included:

Seqirus (bioCSL)[edit]


  • Afluria (influenza vaccine) -- Argentina, Peru, South Africa, Spain, US[23]
    • Enzira -- in various different markets[23]
    • Fluvax -- in various different markets[23]
    • Nilgrip -- in various different markets[23]
  • Afluria Quadrivalent (influenza vaccine) -- Australia, Canada, New Zealand, US[23]
    • Afluria Quad -- in various different markets[23]
    • Afluria Tetra -- in various different markets[23]
  • Agrippal (influenza vaccine) -- Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Thailand[23]
    • Agriflu -- in various different markets[23]
    • Begripal -- in various different markets[23]
    • Chiroflu -- in various different markets[23]
    • Fluazur -- in various different markets[23]
    • Sandovac -- in various different markets[23]
  • Audenz (influenza A (H5N1) vaccine) -- US[23]
  • Fluad (influenza vaccine) -- Argentina, Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, UK, US[23]
    • Chiromas -- Spain[23]
  • Fluad Pediatric (influenza vaccine) -- Canada[23]
  • Flucelvax Quadrivalent (influenza vaccine) -- Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, US[23]
  • Q-VAX (Coxiella burnetii vaccine) -- Australia[24]
  • Rapivab (peramivir) -- Australia, US[23]

Antivenoms: (Australia)[24]

CSL Behring (Australia)[25][edit]

CSL Behring[edit]


Coagulation/Bleeding Disorders:


  • Zemaira, Respreeza freeze-dried Human Alpha1-proteinase inhibitor (A1-PI)

Critical Care:

  • AlbuRx, Alburex, Albumeon, Human Albumin Behring, Albuminar 25, human albumin solution (5%, 20% or 25% human albumin solutions)
  • Berinert P, freeze-dried human C1-esterase inhibitor (C1-INH) concentrate
  • Beriplex P/N, freeze-dried human prothrombin complex concentrate
  • Haemocomplettan P, RiaSTAP, freeze-dried human fibrinogen (factor I) concentrate
  • Kybernin P, freeze-dried human antithrombin III concentrate
  • Streptase, freeze-dried streptokinase

Wound Healing:

Product availability varies from country to country, depending on registration status.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2019" (PDF). CSL Limited. 2019.
  2. ^ "CSL LTD (CSL:ASX): Stock Quote & Company Profile - Businessweek". businessweek. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  3. ^ "Trove". trove.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 22 September 2020.
  4. ^ Robin, A. De Q. Penfold, William James (1875–1941). Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  5. ^ Egan, Bryan, "Morgan, Frederick Grantley (1891–1969)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, Canberra: National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 22 September 2020
  6. ^ "BUNDABERG TRAGEDY, Daily Examiner". 14 June 1928. p. 3 – via Trove.
  7. ^ Hobbins, Peter G.; Winkel, Kenneth D. (3 December 2007). "The forgotten successes and sacrifices of Charles Kellaway, director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, 1923–1944". The Medical Journal of Australia. 187 (11): 645–648. doi:10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb01457.x.
  8. ^ Gardiner, Lyndsay; Serle, Geoffrey (2000). "Keogh, Esmond Venner (Bill) (1895–1970)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. 15.
  9. ^ Flood, Phillip; Wills, Peter; Lawler, Peter; Ryan, Graeme; Rickard, Kevin A. (2006). Review of Australia’s Plasma Fractionation Arrangements (PDF). ISBN 1 74186 121 7.
  10. ^ "SAFER FIRST AID, Papua New Guinea Post-Courier". 18 April 1979. p. 11 – via Trove.
  11. ^ "New test for snake bites, The Canberra Times". 30 October 1979. p. 14 – via Trove.
  12. ^ Tasker, Sarah-Jane (23 April 2016). "Blood, sweat and tears of the CSL century". The Australian.
  13. ^ "A global solution to reducing cervical cancer" (PDF). Uniquest commercialisation stories. The University of Queensland. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  14. ^ "CSL wins equal opportunity award for onsite childcare centre". CSL Newsroom. CSL. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  15. ^ Phillipidis, Alex (27 October 2014). "Novartis Selling Flu Vaccine Business to CSL for $275M". Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  16. ^ Sequirus Commonwealth Serum Laboratories
  17. ^ Willman, David (15 March 2020). "Federal vaccine development sites ill-suited to counter covid-19 epidemic". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  18. ^ "CSL Limited". Australian Securities Exchange. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  19. ^ "Panvax H1N1 Approval For Registration For Use in Australia by Therapeutic Goods Administration". Melbourne, Australia: CSL Limited. 18 September 2009. Archived from the original on 18 September 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2009. CSL Biotherapies, a subsidiary of CSL Limited, Australia's leading biopharmaceutical company, can today confirm that its vaccine against the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza or 'swine flu' has been approved registration for use in people aged 10 years and over.
  20. ^ Tran, Mark (22 July 2009). "First human trials of swine flu vaccine begin in Australia". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  21. ^ "CSL to manufacture and supply University of Queensland and Oxford University vaccine candidates for Australia". www.csl.com. 7 September 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  22. ^ "Australia secures onshore manufacturing agreements for two COVID-19 vaccines | Prime Minister of Australia". www.pm.gov.au. 7 September 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Products". Seqirus. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  24. ^ a b "Products". Seqirus. Australia. Retrieved 9 February 2020.
  25. ^ "Products". cslbehring.com.au. Retrieved 7 February 2020. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  26. ^ Global product portfolio CSL Behring, 3 November 2010


  • AH Brogan, Committed to Saving Lives: a History of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (Melbourne: Hyland House, 1990).
  • Dando McCredie, The Fight Against Disease and CSL's Seventy Year Contribution (Richmond: Dando McCredie, c.1986).
  • FG Morgan, 'The Commonwealth Serum Laboratories and their work', Collected Proceedings of the Society of Chemical Industry of Victoria, XXXV (1935), 1015–31.
  • WJ Penfold, 'The Commonwealth Serum Laboratories', Medical Journal of Australia, 1 (14 April 1923), 396–400.
  • Struan K Sutherland, A Venomous Life: the Autobiography of Professor Struan Sutherland (Melbourne: Hyland House, 1998).