CSL Celebrates 100 Years of Operation

Australia’s largest and most successful biotechnology company, CSL, will officially celebrate 100 years of operation on 25th April 2016.

World pharma today/Press releases /-Originally named the ‘Commonwealth Serum Laboratories’, CSL was established in 1916 by the Australian Government to ensure an isolated nation had reliable access to therapeutic sera, vaccines and other life-saving biological products during times of war and other global threats.

CSL tripled the size of its workforce in 1919 to help Australia battle the Spanish Flu pandemic and it was instrumental in Australia being one of the first nations in the world to offer insulin (1923) and penicillin (1944) to its civilian population. In 1952 it began plasma fractionation in Australia and in 1956, it began producing the polio vaccine which, within a decade, had produced more than 25 million doses and driven the devastating disease from our shores.

From its humble beginnings as a small branch of the Quarantine Department, CSL is now a $A45 billion global speciality biopharmaceutical company. Its focus is on developing and delivering lifesaving and life-enhancing therapies to patients all around the world.

The company operates in more than 30 countries, manufactures across three continents, and employs more than 16,000 people.

Few organisations ever achieve this 100 year milestone and throughout its centenary year, CSL will be celebrating and commemorating the generations of scientists, medical professionals and governments whose passion and commitment have played a role in making CSL the globally successful, innovative company it is today.

Over the course of the year, there will be a range of special events including the establishment of a new $25 million medical research fellowship program, gala birthday parties for CSL staff and Australia’s leading scientists and academics, a Melbourne Museum Exhibition, and the release of a specially commissioned historical documentary film and a book.

“CSL has an important heritage but an even brighter future. These centenary celebrations are a tribute and a testament to our values, science, people and the patients we serve — yesterday, today and tomorrow”.

“Innovation is the key to the future of CSL. CSL has evolved from a company that largely brought international discoveries to Australians – to a company which translates its own early research into commercial medicines for patients around the globe. In 1994, CSL spent less than $20 million US dollars on R&D. In 2016 it will it spend close to $US600 million” said Mr Paul Perreault, CSL Chief Executive Officer.

“We look forward to engaging with patients, colleagues, research professionals, academics, physicians, scientists and governments and across the globe as we celebrate our birthday and the importance and promise of innovation and medical research”.

“CSL may be one hundred years old but we are just getting started”. View a detailed  CSL Centenary – 100 years timeline booklet and visit CSL’s Centenary website to learn about our past achievements.

Download the Media release:

CSL Celebrates 100 Years of Operation (0.1Mb)

Additional Resources:

CSL Announces $25 million Centenary Fellowship Program
CSL Centenary – 100 years timeline booklet
CSL’s Centenary website

Media contact:

Sharon McHale, Head of  Public Affairs
Phone: 0409 978 314