The CSL Group of companies develops, manufactures and markets:
* Vaccines used to induce immunity to protect people against a range of viral and bacterial diseases;
* Plasma-derived therapies used to treat bleeding disorders, infections and autoimmune diseases;
* Pharmaceuticals used to treat serious human medical conditions;
* Antivenoms used to treat victims of venomous snake and spider bites;
* Diagnostics products used to determine compatibility of donor-recipient blood in transfusion settings.
Some products are marketed and distributed by CSL under license from other companies.
CSL has substantial manufacturing facilities in the United States, Europe and
Australia and operates globally through their businesses.
CSL Biotherapies incorporating Immunohaematology
CSL Behring incorporating CSL Plasma
CSL continues to build on the significant contributione made to health
care for more than eighty years:
* Through investment in new product development;
* Through collaborative ventures that strengthen our scientific, manufacturing
and marketing expertise;
* Through quality products and excellent customer service.
CSL was founded in 1916 as the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, to meet the
demand for locally produced biopharmaceuticals in a country isolated by war.
Throughout its history CSL has been a leading national investor in research
CSL was the first to supply Australia's public with such life-saving products
* Polio Vaccine
In 1994 after a period as a corporatised government company CSL was listed on
the Australian Stock Exchange.
Join us on a journey through CSL's past.
In Australia, CSL Biotherapies manufactures and in-licenses, markets and distributes vaccines with particular focus on vaccines for the prevention and treatment of serious diseas, and also manufactures, markets and distributes a range of Antivenoms.
Contact details for CSL Ltd
45 Poplar Road
Parkville VIC 3052 AUSTRALIA
Toll free: 1800 642 865
Contact person for advice on antivenom
IH Technical Manager - South
CSL Biotherapies - Immunohaematology
Ph: (+61) 03-9389 1674
Fax: (+61) 03-9389 1646
Consultant medical expert for advice on
use of antivenoms:
Assoc. Prof. Julian White
Head of Toxinology Department
Womens and Childrens Hospital
72 King William Street, North Adelaide,
Ph: 08-8161-7436; Fax: 08-8161-8024
Experience during World War I makes it clear that Australia cannot afford
to rely on overseas supplies of important sera and vaccines. The country
was effectively cut off from its traditional sources of vaccines and other
bacteriological products for the duration of the war.
The decision to establish a federal serum institute (CSL) is announced on
21 October 1915.
The Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) are established to supply Australia
with vaccines and other bacteriological products.
Dr William Penfold, a bacteriologist at Britain's Lister Institute of Preventative
Medicine, is appointed as CSL's founding Director.
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) provides CSL
with free accommodation in its building in Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, until
a permanent home can be found.
Collaboration between the two organisations continues to this day.
CSL transfers operations from its temporary base at WEHI to its permanent site
in Parkville, Melbourne.
In 1918 Melbourne and Sydney's ports have been placed under quarantine in an
attempt to avoid the introduction into Australia of the "Spanish Influenza"
epidemic which is claiming thousands of lives around the world. One of CSL's
first actions is to prepare advance doses of a vaccine in case an Australia
outbreak of the epidemic occurs.
1919 Influenza Epidemic
CSL's first challenge is the Influenza Epidemic of 1919 - the "Spanish
'Flu". When the epidemic reaches Australia in January 1919, public
health authorities respond by closing cinemas, theatres, racecourses and
schools. Masks are required of anyone moving through the streets. Schools
and kindergartens - even Melbourne's Exhibition Building - are turned into
CSL's staff numbers are temporarily tripled as the organisation produces
3 million doses of a mixed bacterial vaccine in an attempt to combat the
The CSL product range now includes 5 therapeutic sera, 24 vaccines, 4 tuberculins
and a range of diagnostic agents. Late in 1920, diphtheria toxin-antitoxin is
introduced to combat one of the most dreaded infectious diseases of the time.
1922 Veterinary Vaccines
CSL begins producing veterinary vaccines for the first time, heralding the
introduction of a wide range of veterinary products.
In 1922 Canadians Frederick Banting and Charles Best isolated insulin and began
a new era in the treatment of diabetes.
Within months of their discovery CSL produced an experimental batch and in 1923
CSL is one of only four laboratories in the world licensed to manufacture insulin.
By August, CSL is producing enough insulin to meet the needs of all Australian
1925 Therapeutic Sera
Sera are prepared from the blood of people who have recovered from diseases
such as poliomyelitis, measles and scarlet fever. The sera are used both to
prevent and treat disease. This pioneering work paves the way for the production
of large quantities of pooled human serum used for transfusions during World
1930 Antivenom Tiger snake
antivenom is released after several years of collaboration between CSL
and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. CSL will go on to produce antivenoms
against all of the dangerous Australian snakes and spiders.
1935 CSL Research Section Established
An independent research section is established under the leadership of Dr EV
Keogh. The need for CSL to undertake its own research had been apparent since
the earliest days and Dr Keogh, in particular, had long campaigned for an in-house
1938-1939 World War II Initiatives
The threat of war means CSL has to prepare itself to meet the needs of Australians.
Tetanus vaccine is developed and produced in large quantities. As a result,
not one Australian serviceman contracts tetanus during the war. Other urgently-needed
biological products are provided to the forces in Asia and the Middle East.
Millions of doses of preventive agents against smallpox, typhoid fever, plague
and cholera are issued. Australia is the only country in the world to adopt
routine blood grouping of all service personnel. This means a huge increase
in the demand for blood grouping sera, to be prepared, tested and supplied.
CSL first produces pooled human serum.
CSL responds immediately to the discoveries made by Dr Howard Florey's team
in Oxford regarding the therapeutic powers of penicillin. CSL staff member
Val Bazeley is recalled from the armed services to supervise CSL's production
of the drug.
By February 1944 a CSL production team is supplying the needs of the Australian
forces and some of the Americans serving in the Pacific.
Using CSL supplies, Australia will be the first country in the world to
supply penicillin freely to civilians.
Blood fractionation, based on the method developed by Dr Edwin Cohn of Harvard
University, begins at CSL.
Triple Antigen vaccine for the immunisation of infants and young children against
tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough; and
Immune Serum Globulin.
CSL first issues Albumin.
Epidemics of poliomyelitis or "infantile paralysis" were experienced
in Australia and overseas from the beginning of the 20th century. In 1937/38
Australia's worst polio epidemic occurred, affecting thousands of children.
CSL devoted resources to the study of poliomyelitis throughout the 1920s, 30s,
40s and 50s.
In 1955 the work of Jonas Salk at the University of Pittsburgh brought the
possibility of a vaccine closer. In 1954 a CSL officer was sent to Salk's laboratory
as his first assistant. The officer was Val Bazeley, later to become Director
of CSL. He worked with Salk and was responsible for the production of the lots
of vaccine which were used in the first clinical trials in the United States.
He returned to Melbourne in 1955 to set up production of Salk vaccine at CSL.
From 1955-56, CSL officers were frequent visitors to the United States, where
they exchanged information and purchased otherwise unavailable equipment. By
June 1956, CSL was able to produce 390,000 doses of vaccine, which rose to 5
million doses per annum in the next two years. Under an agreement with the Commonwealth
Government, the vaccine was issued free of charge to everyone in Australia and
to Australian nationals overseas.
CSL is incorporated as a Commonwealth Statutory Authority under the control
of a Board of Commissioners.
CSL first issues haemophiliacs with anti-haemophilic globulin, produced from
CSL releases the first polyvalent
snake antivenom for the treatment of all Australian and Papua New Guinean
venomous snake bites.
CSL Bioplasma provides products to New Zealand from New Zealand plasma.
1966 - 1967
Rh(D) Immunoglobulin, produced from plasma, is introduced for haemolytic disease
in newborns. Australia is the first country in the world to issue this product
on a national basis.
CSL uses its recently completed maximum security laboratory for urgent investigative
work into bluetongue vaccine following isolation of the virus in Australia.
Q Fever. Research and development at CSL leads to the production of a purified
vaccine against Q fever, a disease which mostly affects abattoir workers. Funnel web spider
antivenom is developed and produced at CSL.
CSL begins manufacturing GLANVAC® vaccine for the prevention of clostridial
diseases and 'cheesy gland' in sheep.
CSL Limited is incorporated as a Public Company in April 1991 under the
Corporations Law. All shares are held by the Commonwealth Government.
"...our main aim is to contribute to national health and wealth by
building a great and independent Australian company." Dr. Brian McNamee,
1992 CSL signs an agreement with Merck Sharp & Dohme (Australia) Pty Ltd
and Merck & Co Inc to develop combination vaccines for children in Australia,
New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region.
CSL Bioplasma commences toll manufacturing for Malaysia.
CSL enters a 10 year agreement with the Commonwealth for the manufacture and
supply of a range of plasma-derived products for Australians.
Production commences at CSL's new plasma products facility - CSL Bioplasma in
CSL commences involvement in two Cooperative Research Centres developing and
commercialising Australian innovative technology.
1994 ASX Listing
Following a public float, CSL is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on
30th May 1994. Official sale date 3 June 1994.
CSL's Broadmeadows Bioplasma plant is opened. The chromatographic albumin plant
included in the facility is the largest in the world.
CSL acquires US cell culture company JRH Biosciences Inc in September 1994.
JRH operations merge with CSL's existing cell culture reagents business.
CSL acquires a majority interest in Iscotec AB, a Swedish company with global
rights to commercialise a novel adjuvant (to enhance the response to vaccines).
CSL opens New Zealand veterinary viral vaccine facility.
CSL Bioplasma issues the worlds first chromatography based albumin product.
First edition of CSL Antivenom
CSL Bioplasma wins "Plant of the Year" award from the Society of the
Chemical Industry of Victoria.
Construction of new Pharmaceutical Packaging dispensing suite, officially opened
18 November 1998.
CSL acquires Biocor. The US veterinary vaccine manufacturing plant is acquired
on 30 June 1998 in a major step towards developing an international position
for CSL's veterinary products.
CSLs Bioplasma Division signs a product development and manufacturing
agreement with the American Red Cross to complete contract fractionation and
co-development of new products. An exciting joint program is to develop a Fibrin
Sealant Bandage that is capable of stopping traumatic bleeding.
New facility launched for the manufacture of novel biopharmaceuticals.
2000 Acquisition of ZLB
In June 2000 CSL signed an agreement to acquire the plasma fractionation assets
and business (ZLB) from Rotkreuzstiftung Zentrallaboratorium Blutspendedientst
SRK, a non-profit organisation affiliated with the Swiss Red Cross and with
strong links to the international family of Red Cross organisations. ZLB is
the fifth largest manufacturer of plasma products worldwide.
CSL Bioplasma launches new chromatography based plasma product portfolio.
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