CSL is close to creating the world’s second largest flu vaccine business

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CSL is closer to creating the world’s second largest flu vaccine business by buying a subsidiary of Swiss pharmaceutical multinational Novartis for $US275 million.

The biotech says it’s secured the approvals required to proceed with the acquisition of influenza vaccines business Novartis.

The blood products group is working with Novartis to bring forward the close date for the transaction and says this should happen in the next few days.

The new CSL subsidiary resulting from the acquisition will be called Seqirus, a name derived from the phrase “securing health for all of us”.

The Novartis vaccine business will be combined with CSL’s existing vaccines and pharmaceutical subsidiary, bioCSL.

The acquisition will create the second largest vaccine company in the $US4 billion global influenza industry with manufacturing plants in the US, UK, Germany and Australia.

Novartis is currently moving its three-strain influenza vaccine brands to four-strain formulations through a multi-year clinical program.

CSL’s Parkville facilities in Melbourne will play a key role in the global manufacturing network of the combined business while continuing to offer seasonal influenza vaccine supply and pandemic preparedness and response to Australia.

CSL’s chief financial officer Gordon Naylor will lead the new business.

The group posted a 7% increase in net profit of $US692 million for the six months to the end of December but downgraded its outlook for the full year by 10%. The blood products group’s revenue for the first half was $US2.8 billion, up 6% but below analyst expectations of $3 billion.