No homegrown coronavirus vaccine, but CSL inoculated against failure

Australia won’t save the world, this time, after trials of our promising COVID vaccine were judi online abandoned.

It’s a rare setback for biotech behemoth CSL.

CSL is one of our largest companies — a global biotech giant worth more than some of our biggest banks — but one that many Australians would have never heard of.

The failure to produce a successful vaccine is unlikely to even knock its share price on the stock exchange in the medium to long term, because it has a contract to manufacture up to 30 million doses of a rival company’s treatment.

“They’ve made the prudent decision, the right decision to not continue,” said Maria Halasz, the chief executive and managing director of drug development company Cellmid Limited.

“It’s only a small part of what they do, they have a quasi-monopoly on blood products worldwide.”

It’s that blood that’s powered its dominance and surging share price.

In August it announced a $2.1 billion full-year profit, up 10 per cent, with its chief executive lauding solid growth in its “immunoglobin portfolio” of products. Immunoglobins, or antibodies, are produced by white blood cells.

CSL’s chief executive and managing director Paul Perreault, noted an “exceptional result against a backdrop of complex and unexpected challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic”, praising its “largest franchise, the immunoglobulin portfolio” for performing extremely well.

In the past five years CSL’s share price has more than doubled. As the calendar flipped into the year 2000 a share cost just below $7. In February the same share was worth $340.

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