100 years and just getting started

100 years ago the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories was established to protect the health of a nation. Today CSL is a global biotherapeutics leader, delivering innovative medicines to patients and populations all over the world. We are proud to share stories from our journey and to celebrate those who have contributed along the way.

Our past achievements inspire our future and our promise to save and improve lives continues to drive us. In fact, in many ways, we’re just getting started.

Our story

1915. A young nation is being blooded in war. The supply of vital medicines from overseas can no longer be guaranteed. The country must stand on its own.

A decision is made. The Australian government will establish a facility to produce vaccines, sera and antitoxins. Dr William Penfold, an esteemed bacteriologist working at Britain’s Lister Institute, is asked to lead the new organisation. He accepts and on 25 April 1916, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) is born.

Over the ensuing years CSL provides Australians with rapid access to 20th century medical advances including insulin and penicillin, and vaccines against influenza, polio and other infectious diseases. It develops uniquely Australian medicines like snake antivenoms, helps to protect Australia from influenza pandemics and ensures the
nation has its own supply of life-saving plasma therapies. Its animal health products guard Australia’s agricultural interests.

Pressures during the 70s and 80s see government-run laboratories around the world being shut down. The Australian government takes a different approach, listing CSL on the Australian Stock Exchange. To survive, the company expands internationally, buying an affiliate of the Swiss Red Cross and a global plasma company linked to Nobel Prize winner, Emil von Behring. Much loved parts of the business are bade farewell as CSL looks for greater focus.

Today, CSL is a leading global biotherapeutics company, employing over 16,000 people in more than 30 countries. With greater, targeted spending on research and development, it has created a rich pipeline of promising medicines for the future. Throughout is 100 year journey, CSL has remained proudly Australian and stayed true to its promise of saving and protecting lives. These are the qualities that have helped CSL become the truly global success story it is today.

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100 years of success

Discover our history by exploring some of our key milestones over the last century.

Influenza – CSL's first real test

Protecting Australia against the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 sets CSL on a course that sees it become a global force in the fight against influenza.

Background

Towards the end of World War 1, the deadly Spanish influenza virus begins to circulate. The global spread of the disease threatens Australian shores, putting the fledgling Commonwealth Serum Laboratories to its first real test.

When the Spanish flu arrives in Australia, there’s panic on the streets. But CSL swings into action, quickly producing 3 million doses of a mixed bacterial vaccine to protect the Australian people. The pandemic takes the lives of 12,000 people, but the death toll could have been far worse.

The experience leaves an indelible mark on the culture of CSL and sets the standard for the way in which it tackles later public health emergencies. It also leads to an ongoing effort to combat both seasonal influenza and pandemics.

During World War II, CSL starts mass production of a new influenza virus vaccine using the egg-based method pioneered by Macfarlane Burnet. Seasonal production of the vaccine begins, enabling rapid response to the several pandemic emergencies.

Today, CSL not only continues to protect Australia against seasonal influenza and pandemic threats, it does so for many countries around the world.

Did you know?

The 1918–19 Spanish flu pandemic killed more than 50 million people worldwide.  Approximately 20 to 40 per cent of the world’s population fell ill – some people who felt well in the morning became sick by noon and were dead by nightfall.

100 years of success

Discover our history by exploring some of our key milestones over the last century.

  • 1918-1919

    CSL produces 3 million doses of a mixed bacterial vaccine to protect Australians against the Spanish Flu Pandemic.

  • 1933

    British researchers Wilson Smith, Christopher Andrews and Patrick Laidlaw discover that a virus, not bacteria, is the cause of influenza.

  • 1942

    CSL produces 1 million doses of an influenza virus vaccine, which is supplied to Australian and British armed forces.  The vaccine protects against two strains of flu virus.

  • 1951

    CSL is designated as a WHO Influenza Reference Laboratory to assist with surveillance of the ever-changing virus.

  • 1957

    The Asian flu pandemic causes around 2 million deaths worldwide. CSL acts quickly to produce 1.6 million doses of vaccine to protect Australia.

  • 1968

    CSL introduces virus splitting technology in the production of influenza virus vaccine, greatly improving the quality of the vaccine.

  • 1968-69

    Hong Kong flu spreads across the world, resulting in 1 million deaths.  CSL produces 5 million doses for Australia, helping to lessen the impact of the pandemic.

  • 1970

    An influenza vaccine committee is established in Australia to recommend strains to be included in Australian influenza vaccines.  CSL is represented on the committee.

  • 1973

    CSL begins to adapt influenza strains so they grow better in eggs. The resulting strains are shared with all flu vaccine manufacturers.

  • 1978

    CSL transitions its seasonal influenza vaccine from a bivalent (two strains) to a trivalent (three strains).

  • 1992

    CSL is designated as a WHO Influenza Collaborating Centre, strengthening its role in the global influenza network.

  • 2002

    CSL supplies bulk antigen to flu vaccine producers in the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in year round production.

  • 2007

    The FDA approves CSL’s seasonal influenza vaccine for supply into the US market.

  • 2009

    The H1N1 (Swine Flu) pandemic is declared. CSL is one of the first to produce a pandemic vaccine, supplying doses to Australia, the US and several other countries.

  • 2010

    CSL’s seasonal influenza vaccine is associated with unexpected reactions in children in Australia. Extensive investigations lead CSL to modify its manufacturing process.

  • 2015

    CSL acquires the rights to commercialise an IV treatment for acute complicated influenza.

     

  • 2015

    CSL acquires the Novartis influenza vaccine business and combines it with bioCSL to create Seqirus, now the second largest influenza vaccine manufacturer in the world.

  • 2015

    The FDA approves Seqirus’ adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine for use in the US.

  • 2016

    Seqirus progresses the introduction of quadrivalent influenza vaccines.

Polio – Providing rapid access to important medical breakthroughs

CSL’s production capabilities provided Australians with rapid access to its first polio vaccine, contributing to the ultimate eradication of polio in Australia.

Background

DID YOU KNOW?
Many famous people have been polio victims; most were able to overcome their disabilities, while others were less fortunate. Itzhak Perlman, one of the world’s finest violinists, was permanently disabled at age four, and still plays sitting down. Other polio victims are actor Donald Sutherland, President Roosevelt, writer Arthur C. Clarke, actress Mia Farrow, singer and musician Neil Young, actor Alan Alda, singer Joni Mitchell, director Francis Ford Coppola and actor Lionel Barrymore.

Among the diseases most prevalent in the early part of the 20th century, polio (known as infantile paralysis) was perhaps the most frightening. It generally struck in the warmer months and swept through towns in epidemics every few years. While most people recovered quickly from polio, some suffered paralysis and even death. In Australia, major polio epidemics occurred in the late 1930s, early 1940s and 1950s, causing great fear and panic.

While there were many attempts to develop an effective vaccine against polio, it was Dr Jonas Salk from the University of Pittsburgh who eventually made the breakthrough in 1955. Production of the vaccine used in pivotal clinical trials was led by CSL’s Dr Val Bazeley who had earlier travelled to the US to learn from Salk’s work.

On his return to Australia, Dr Bazeley was quick to develop large scale manufacture of Salk’s polio vaccine at CSL. In June 1956, CSL issued its first batches of the vaccine. In the four years that followed, nearly 18 million doses were administered around the country. Within a decade, polio was virtually eliminated in Australia.

In 1961, Dr Albert Sabin developed an oral vaccine against polio which became the popular choice. In 1966, CSL ceased production of the Salk polio vaccine when the Australian Government decided to use the imported Sabin vaccine in its national immunisation program.

While CSL’s involvement in polio vaccine production only lasted a decade, the dramatic decline of the disease in Australia remains a legacy today.

Did you know?

Before the polio vaccine was discovered schools were regularly closed due to the fear of infection. In some cases school children were ordered to wear clothes pegs on their noses in an attempt to curb transmission.

100 years of success

Discover our history by exploring some of our key milestones over the last century.

  • 1951

    CSL’s Dr Percival ‘Val’ Bazeley investigates polio vaccine production methods in Australia.

  • 1952

    Dr Jonas Salk and his team develop a potentially safe, inactivated polio vaccine.

  • 1953

    CSL’s Dr Bazeley joins Salk’s team, and is responsible for bulk experimental vaccine production.

  • 1954

    Nearly 2 million children participate in clinical trials of the Salk vaccine in the US.

  • 1955

    News of the success of the Salk vaccine trials are announced. Dr Val Bazeley returns to CSL.

  • 1956

    CSL begins large scale production of the Salk Polio Vaccine, providing Australians with rapid access to the vaccine.

  • 1957

    Dr Albert Sabin develops a live attenuated (weakened) oral vaccine, and large clinical trials begin in Russia.

  • 1962

    The Sabin Polio Vaccine becomes widely available and is favoured over the Salk Polio Vaccine.

  • 1966

    CSL ceases production of the Salk vaccine when the Australian Government imports the Sabin Polio Vaccine.

  • Now

    A dramatic decline in the polio notifications in Australia was seen after the introduction of routine polio immunisation in 1956, with the last polio epidemic in 1961-62.

Penicillin – A world first

In 1944 CSL commences mass production of penicillin for the Armed forces and enables Australia to become the first country in the world to supply the wonder drug to a civilian population.

Background

In 1928, Dr Alexander Fleming observed the antibiotic properties of a mould growing in his laboratory. He had in fact discovered penicillin, the wonder drug of the 20th century. But the potential of this breakthrough was not realised until 10 years later, when Australian scientist Howard Florey and his team at Oxford University began the process of developing penicillin for human use. Their efforts in creating a medicine that could effectively kill harmful bacteria led to millions and millions of lives being saved.

Back in Australia, the potential of this new treatment wasn’t lost on Dr Bill Keogh, a CSL researcher and, at the time, influential army officer. Keogh successfully championed the cause for its Australian manufacture. In late 1943 CSL’s Dr Val Bazeley was recalled from the armed services and subsequently spent two months visiting sites in the US where mass production had started. He returned to Australia and boldly announced that CSL would start producing penicillin in just six weeks.

CSL began to produce penicillin with incredible speed. Australia became the second country after the US to produce clinically usable penicillin for Allied forces. By 1944, output had reached 400 million units a week, more than the army needed, and Australia became the first country to provide injectable penicillin for civilian use. Over the next three decades, commercial pharmaceutical companies boosted the global supply of penicillin and developed new products, such as oral penicillin. CSL was unable to compete and in 1980 it ceased penicillin production, standing proud of what it had achieved for Australia.

Did you know?

Corn-steep liquor, a by-product of corn milling, opened the gates to mass production of penicillin for the war effort in 1942. Its use as a liquid culture base vastly accelerated growth of the mould. Curiously, it was beer fermenters in America who did the initial testing and production, as they were the only ones with the equipment and skill.

100 years of success

Discover our history by exploring some of our key milestones over the last century.

  • 1928

    Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.

  • 1939-40

    Australian scientist Howard Florey and his team at Oxford University demonstrate the antibacterial action of penicillin, then go on to successfully treat infected mice.

  • 1941

    Penicillin production commences in US.

  • 1943

    Large-scale production is achieved through deep-tank fermentation. US government plans mass distribution of penicillin stocks to Allied troops.

    The Australian government authorises the production of penicillin at CSL.

  • 1944 October

    CSL output of penicillin reaches 400 million units a week, and commences supply to the Australian population.

  • 1952

    The first oral penicillin was developed by researchers in Austria.

  • 1957

    The first chemical synthesis of penicillin in completed in the US

  • 1980

    CSL ceases penicillin operations due to global competition.

Insulin – Trusted Production

After the discovery of insulin in 1921, CSL becomes one of only four organisations to be trusted with a license to produce insulin.

Background

In 1921 at the University of Toronto, Dr Frederick Banting and medical student Charles Best made a crucial breakthrough in the fight against diabetes. They inject insulin extracted from a canine pancreas into another dog whose pancreas has been removed, dramatically reducing its diabetic symptoms. The following year, a 14 year-old boy with diabetes is injected with the world’s first medicinal dose of insulin.

In 1923, CSL gains international acclaim by becoming one of only four organisations around the world to be granted a licence to produce insulin by the University of Toronto. Full scale production commences by the end of that year and continues uninterrupted for a further seven decades.

Throughout this period, CSL continually improves production to increase yields and deliver better insulin for patients. To keep pace with global developments, the organisation enters into agreements with global pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly & Company and Novo.

Production of insulin finally ceases at CSL in 1992 due to the arrival of next generation products, but the company’s contribution to the management of diabetes in Australia remains a highlight of its history.

Did you know?

By being awarded the licence to produce insulin for Australians, CSL were authorised to produce insulin without payment of royalties, and to sell it at cost price for therapeutic purposes ‘under the control of competent specialists’.

100 years of success

Discover our history by exploring some of our key milestones over the last century.

  • 1923 March

    CSL becomes one of only four organisations around the world granted a licence to produce insulin for human use.

  • 1923 September

    CSL begins large scale manufacture of insulin from animal sources.

  • 1933

    After tariff protection is removed, CSL responds with formulation changes to meet the competition. Production more than doubles between 1934 and 1936.

  • 1941

    CSL stockpiles large quantities of insulin during the war which stops production.
    Because glassware was in short supply, patients returned insulin bottles so they could be sterilised and reused.

  • 1957

    CSL enters into agreement with Eli Lilly to gain access towards know-how from pancreas collection to formulation and packaging.

  • 1959

    CSL enters into agreement with Novo to access to its new range of short, intermediate and long-acting ‘lente’ insulins.

  • 1977

    CSL starts construction of a $4.8 million purpose-built insulin extraction and purification facility.

  • 1978

    CSL enters a new agreement with Eli Lilly to access its highly purified ‘single-peak’ insulin.

  • 1982

    Genentech and Eli Lilly & Company bring to market Humalin (biosynthetic human insulin), the first commercial therapeutic product of recombinant DNA technology, and Novo releases semisynthetic human insulin.

  • 1984

    CSL and Novo establish a joint venture CSL-Novo to formulate and distribute insulins in Australia and New Zealand.

  • 1989

    Novo and Nordisk merge to create Novo Nordisk, and CSL-Novo is disbanded.

  • 1992

    CSL ceases insulin production.

Animal health – Leading the herd

As CSL works to protect the health of the Australian people, animal health becomes an added focus for the organisation in service of the nation's heavy reliance on agriculture.

Background

At the beginning of the 20th century, Australia’s manufacturing and industrial sectors were still in their infancy. Agriculture was the backbone of the young nation, vital not just for its food supply but also for keeping its economy afloat.

Against this background, the health of the country’s animal stocks became an important part of CSL’s work shortly after it set up operations at Parkville in 1918. The development and production of veterinary vaccines and other animal products would go on to become a pillar of its business for many years to come.

When CSIRO scientists developed a vaccine to combat black disease in the 1930s, CSL was quick to manufacture the vaccine in large quantities, dramatically reducing the incidence of the disease in sheep.

In the 1960s, CSL led the progressive development of vaccines with combined protection against various clostridial diseases. This work culminated in the release of a five-in-one vaccine for sheep and cattle, which was the first of its kind in the world.

In the 1980s, protection against cheesy gland in sheep was added to the five-in-one vaccine and in the 1990s the product was further improved by the application of ultrafiltration. CSL’s clostridial vaccines became the biggest selling veterinary products in Australia during this time.

CSL expanded internationally in 1998 with the $15 million acquisition of Bayer’s animal health business, Biocor. As the organisation pursued a global position in plasma therapeutics, it sold its animal health division to Pfizer in 2004 for A$161.6 million.

After 90 years, it was time to say goodbye to the highly innovative and commercially successful animal health division.

DID YOU KNOW?

Australian cricketing legend and then captain, Allan Border, was chosen to front CSL’s marketing campaign for its clostridial vaccines in 1992.  CSL employees were proud to see GLANVAC® plastered across his bat.

100 years of success

Discover our history by exploring some of our key milestones over the last century.

  • 1918

    The animal health section’s first two dedicated employees are appointed: Alf Duncan, leader, and David Ernest (Ted) Armstrong, second-in-command. A stable to house 22 horses work is constructed.

  • 1924

    Veterinary products are given their own price list. Included are a number of bacterial vaccines for the prevention of animal diseases such as strangles in horses, mastitis and contagious abortion in cattle, distemper in dogs, and plague in swine.

  • 1925

    CSL produces a blackleg vaccine protecting against one part of the blackleg toxin, which is later improve to provide protection against all blakleg toxins.

  • 1930

    CSL begins large scale production of black disease vaccine, which has been developed by scientists from the CSIRO.

  • 1934

    CSL pays £8,000 for land in Broadmeadows for its expanding animal health business to ease pressure at its Parkville site.

  • 1935

    CSL develops bacterial vaccine for the complications of canine distemper virus (CDV).

  • 1960s-1980s

    CSL progressively develops a number of combined vaccines to protect livestock from a range of clostridial diseases, culminating in the release of a five-in-one vaccine – the first of its kind in the world.

    An expanded veterinary virology unit at CSL develops a range of vaccines to protect dogs, cats and birds from infectious diseases.

  • 1983

    Protection against cheesy gland in sheep is added to the five-in-one vaccine and launched as GLANVAC®.

  • 1985

    A stand-alone veterinary research division is established. By the late eighties 50 per cent of animal health’s revenue came from new research developments in the two or three years prior.

  • 1986

    To boost animal vaccine production, CSL acquires a viral vaccines manufacturing plant in New Zealand from Mallinckrodt.

  • 1993

    Ultafiltration is applied to GLANVAC®, reducing dose volumes by half.

  • 1998

    CSL purchases Bayer’s veterinary products business, Biocor for $15 million.

  • 2005

    CSL divests its animal health business to Pfizer for A$162 million

Antivenoms – Protecting Australia from its venomous creatures

CSL released Australia's first antivenom in 1930 to combat the deadly tiger snake. Since then it has developed a range of antivenoms to protect Australians from the nation's venomous snakes, spiders and marine animals.

Background

In a nation inhabited by some of the world’s most venomous creatures, antivenom production becomes a natural extension to CSL’s public health responsibilities in its early years. The fear and loathing of venomous creatures felt by so many Australians elevates the profile of this work in a way that aids public awareness of CSL.

Following several years of collaboration with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, CSL releases Australia’s first antivenom in 1930, targeting the deadly tiger snake.

Over the next two decades antivenoms are developed for the taipan, death adder, black snake and brown snake, and a polyvalent product combining these antivenoms. The antivenoms are released in succession throughout the 1950s and 60’s together with antivenoms for sea snake and box jellyfish, red back spider and the world’s first stone fish antivenom.

The development of a world first snake venom detection kit by CSL in 1979 helps doctors choose the correct snake antivenom to administer to patients. In 1980, CSL’s Struan Sutherland makes a breakthrough in the development of an antivenom against the deadly funnel web.

Following CSL’s privitisation, the antivenom research unit moves to the University of Melbourne, however CSL continues to be the world’s sole manufacturer of Australian antivenom.

Antivenoms are complex to produce and because they are specific to indigenous species, there is no global market for them. In Australia, the rarity of bites from venomous creatures means that only very small volumes are required of each type of antivenom, making them very costly to produce

While antivenoms don’t generate a commercial return for CSL, the company continues to produce them in Australia’s national interest, supported by the Australian Government. It also uses its expertise to support projects to improve access to antivenoms in PNG and other tropical developing countries.

DID YOU KNOW?

Antivenoms are made by injecting small amounts of venom into horses, sheep and rabbits. The animals create neutralising antibodies to the venom which are collected by plasmapheresis and purified to make antivenoms.

100 years of success

Discover our history by exploring some of our key milestones over the last century.

  • 1928

    Investigation into antivenom production begins at Melbourne’s Walter and
    Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI), driven by Dr Neil Hamilton Fairley and Dr Charles Kellaway, who invite CSL’s Dr Morgan to join them.

  • 1930

    CSL releases tiger snake antivenom

  • 1934

    A separate Antivenom Research department is established at CSL to develop additional antivenoms.

  • 1955

    Taipan antivenom

  • 1956

    Brown snake antivenom

  • 1957

    Red-back spider antivenom

  • 1958

    Death adder antivenom

  • 1959

    Papuan black snake antivenom

  • 1961

    Sea snake antivenom

  • 1962

    Stonefish antivenom

  • 1962

    Polyvalent antivenom, providing protection against five types of snakes.

  • 1970

    Box jellyfish antivenom

  • 1979

    World’s first snake venom detection kit.

  • 1980

    Funnel-web spider antivenom

Plasma protein therapies – It’s in our blood

Quick to recognise the initial potential in plasma fractionation, CSL now runs four fractionation sites that produce plasma products for worldwide use.

Background

GIVING BLOOD BACK
CSL’s plasma donation centres in the USA and Europe lead the way in plasmapheresis, the process where whole blood is removed from a donor and passed through a machine to separate it into blood cells and plasma. The blood cells are then returned to the donor. Plasma donations using plasmapheresis means donors can give plasma more regularly, and that red cells are not collected in excess and potentially wasted.

In 1952, CSL began to make therapies from human plasma collected by the Australian Red Cross. Today, it is a global leader in plasma therapeutics, providing life-saving plasma therapies to patients in need all over the world.

Since then, it has gone on to become a global leader in the development and manufacture of plasma protein therapies.

When the new science of blood plasma fractionation emerged during World War II, CSL was quick to see its potential. By 1953, it was part of a national system providing life-saving plasma protein therapies to Australian patients from blood collected by the Red Cross from unpaid Australian donors. It’s a system that still operates today.

Advances in plasma fractionation led to the successive release of life-saving replacement therapies for patients with both rare and serious diseases. It became a driving force for CSL and its contemporaries, both before and after the organisation became the global leader in plasma protein therapeutics through a series of strategic acquisitions this century.

CSL Behring plasma protein therapies today are used around the world to treat bleeding disorders including haemophilia, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema and inherited respiratory disease, and neurological disorders in certain markets.

The company’s products are also used in cardiac surgery, organ transplantation, burns treatment and to prevent haemolytic disease of the newborn. The company’s four fractionation sites, each located in a different country, produce plasma products that are distributed in over 60 countries around the world.

DURING THE 1980'S

During the 1980s, the strength of the relationship with the Australian Red Cross came to the fore when the HIV/AIDS threat emerged. CSL and the Australian Red Cross worked diligently together to secure the safety of Australia’s blood supply.

100 years of success

Discover our history by exploring some of our key milestones over the last century.

  • 1940

    Dr Edwin Cohn develops the method of fractionation to separate albumin protein from other plasma proteins.

  • 1942

    Armour Laboratories (later to become part of CSL) in the US commence fractionation and become the biggest supplier of albumin to the US Military during WII.

  • 1946

    Behringwerke (later to become part of CSL) in Marburg, Germany is the first organisation in Europe to undertake plasma fractionation on an industrial scale.

  • 1952

    CSL begins fractionating plasma collected by the Australian Red Cross Society from Australian blood donors.

  • 1953

    CSL’s releases immunoglobulin, Australia’s first plasma-derived therapy. It is used to treat and prevent infections.

  • 1954

    ZLB, part of the Swiss Red Cross (and later to become part of CSL), produces the world’s first pasteurised plasma protein solution.

  • 1954

    CSL first produces albumin for Australian patients.

  • 1959

    CSL produces Vaccinia immunoglobulin to treat the complications of small pox vaccination.

  • 1960

    The first therapeutic plasmapheresis procedure is reported by A Solomon and JL Fahey.

  • 1961

    CSL issues its first clotting factor treatment for haemophilia A patients in Australia. It also commences plasma fractionation of New Zealand Plasma in collaboration with the New Zealand Blood Service.

  • 1964-65

    CSL produces tetanus immunoglobulin.

  • 1966-67

    In a world first, CSL produces Rh(D) immunoglobulin for Rh negative mothers, provided on a national basis.

  • 1968

    CSL produces intravenous immunoglobulin.

  • 1969-70

    CSL produces PPSB (clotting factors II, VII, IX and X).

  • 1970-71

    CSL produces tetanus immunoglobulin.

  • 1971-72

    CSL produces zoster immunoglobulin to treat chicken pox and shingles.

  • 1972-73

    CSL produces improved purity clotting factors for haemophilia and hepatitis B immunoglobulin.

  • 1979-80

    CSL produces anti-haemophilic factor (AHF).

  • 1983

    CSL works with the public health community to protect Australia’s blood and plasma products supply from HIV. Collaborating with US scientists, CSL advances heat treatment techniques to eliminate the virus from haemophilia therapies.

  • 1994

    CSL opens a state-of-the art plasma fractionation facility in Broadmeadows, Melbourne, and becomes the first to use chromatography to fractionate plasma on an industrial scale.

  • 2000

    Plasma fractionation business ZLB (Zentrallaboratorium Blutspendedientst) is acquired from the Swiss Red Cross. Based in Bern, ZLB is the fifth-largest manufacturer of plasma products in the world.

  • 2001

    CSL acquires 47 US-based plasma collection centres and associated laboratory facilities in the US from NABI (North American Biological Incorporated), and brands them CSL Plasma.

  • 2004

    US-based Aventis Behring is acquired, including the famous Behringwerke site in Marburg, Germany, and the former Armour manufacturing site in Illinois. It is CSL’s largest acquisition to date, and is combined with ZLB and CSL Plasma to create CSL Behring.

  • 2006

    Zenyth Therapeutics is acquired for $104 million, strengthening CSL’s capabilities in recombinant proteins and boosting its R&D pipeline plasma-based therapies.

  • 2007

    CSL Behring launches PRIVIGEN®, the first liquid intravenous immunoglobulin able to be stored at room temperature. PRIVIGEN® quickly becomes CSL Behring’s leading product globally.

  • 2010

    CSL Behring launches HIZENTRA® the first 20% subcutaneous immunoglobulin for patients with primary immune deficiency. It can be self-administered and requires no refrigeration.

  • 2014

    CSL opens a new biotech manufacturing facility at the Broadmeadows site for the production of recombinant proteins for large-scale phase III clinical trials.

  • 2016

    CSL Behring’s novel recombinant clotting factors achieve major regulatory milestones, starting with the approval of IDELVION®, the first therapy to deliver high-level protection for patients with haemophilia B.