Friday, 16 July 2010

The Victorian Government will back global biopharmaceutical company CSL to invest $235 million on a major expansion of its Broadmeadows facility which will create 333 new jobs by 2018.

At CSL in Broadmeadows today, Premier John Brumby was joined by Commonwealth Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr and CSL representatives to announce the expansion which will drive new jobs and new opportunities in the biotech industry.

Mr Brumby said the Victorian Government had supported the CSL investment which would further position Victoria as an international leader in biotechnology.

"Today's announcement is great news for jobs, great news for the local economy and is a great example of what can be achieved through partnerships between government and the private sector," Mr Brumby said.

"Victoria has earned itself a reputation as the biotech hub of the Asia-Pacific and we are well on the way to becoming one of the world's top five biotech destinations.

"CSL's expansion will be important in driving our biotech excellence and is a vote of confidence in our state's investment attraction capabilities. 

"It represents a major opportunity to further expand our biotechnology industry, with a focus on the level of research and development activity in Victoria's innovative biotech sector." 

CSL develop and manufacture vaccines and plasma-based protein biotherapies for supply to the Australian and international markets. CSL currently employees around 10,000 people in 27 countries across the world, including about 1500 in Victoria.

"The focus of the $235 million project will be the establishment of a new large biotechnology facility to culture living cells that will be used to develop new protein based drugs.

CSL's investment will also include enhancements to the Broadmeadows site to integrate the new biotech facility and to ensure it has the infrastructure needed to cater for the future".

Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings said the research and development (R&D) jobs would be based at both Broadmeadows and Parkville.

"This investment will significantly boost Victoria's credentials as a globally significant hub for scientific R&D which will deliver major benefits to our biotech sector," Mr Jennings said.

"It builds on the major investments our Government has been making to ensure we continue to be a world-leader in the innovation sector."

Victoria's biotech sector employs around 22,000 people. The market capitalisation of Victoria's listed biotech companies in 2009 was $23.8 billion - which has tripled since 2001-02.

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