CSL moving to Melbourne Biomedical Precinct
Global biotechnology company CSL has entered into an agreement with developer PDG to build laboratories and offices to house CSL’s global corporate headquarters in the heart of the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct on Elizabeth St, Parkville.
Known as ‘Elizabeth North’, the site will include three tower buildings, including a 16-storey flagship building set to serve as CSL’s new global head office. There, the company will foster and support collaborations between academic biomedical research and industry, creating important linkages in the ‘benchtop to bedside’ translation of new medicines for unmet medical needs.
“The medical research cluster centred around Parkville, comprising The University of Melbourne, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, The Royal Women’s Hospital, the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Royal Children’s Hospital, among other institutions, is considered a world-class medical precinct and a significant research presence in global terms,” said CSL’s CEO and Managing Director, Paul Perreault.
“CSL’s collaborations within the precinct span more than a hundred years. We have opportunities all around the world and R&D in several countries, but we believe the density and quality of medical research activity in Parkville has enormous future potential. As we continue to strengthen our long-term collaborations with strategic partners we intend to grow these networks by further embedding key elements of our Australian operations into the nucleus of Melbourne’s medical research district.”
Currently scheduled for completion in 2024, the development will accommodate more than 800 CSL employees from early-stage research and product development teams, commercial operations, corporate functions and support services, spread across seven floors of office work spaces and nine floors of laboratories and research and clinical phase production suites. The laboratories will be enclosed in floor-to-ceiling glass and circumnavigated by a continuous corridor, enabling safe, transparent viewing of biotech production activities for precinct visitors — including educational opportunities for students and young researchers.
The three buildings will be joined by external ‘laneways’ with activated street frontages, creating dynamic public spaces as well as providing increased opportunities for networking between professionals, researchers, students and visitors. The ‘laneways’ will also act as a thoroughfare link between the health and educational precinct and the Melbourne CBD.
The company will maintain its presence at the Bio21 Molecular Science & Biotechnology Institute within The University of Melbourne, which currently accommodates 130 CSL researchers, while vaccine manufacturer Seqirus’s influenza and antivenom manufacturing operations will remain at CSL’s Poplar Rd campus for the foreseeable future.
Perreault explained, “Our Poplar Road site is an important part of CSL’s history and has served the company well. As we plan for future growth, however, moving geographically closer to our key stakeholders ensures we are well placed to strengthen our partnerships and deepen the valuable relationships we have with the local biomedical community. The move will also bring key elements of our Australian operations together, fostering stronger internal collaboration.”
The Victorian Government has meanwhile announced a new partnership with The University of Melbourne, providing $200,000 to examine leading precinct innovation models including those found in Boston, Tel Aviv and the MaRS Discovery District of Toronto. Parkville is one of five ‘Priority Precincts’ focused on delivering jobs, development and improved livability to key urban areas within the state, along with Arden, Fisherman’s Bend, Sunshine and the Richmond to Docklands corridor.
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