CSL (ASX:CSL) share price higher on COVID-19 vaccine update

The CSL Limited (ASX:CSL) share price is pushing higher on Thursday after releasing an update on its COVID-19 vaccine plans…

| More on:
doctor making thumbs up gesture and holding vial labelled 'covid-19 vaccine' representing covid shares

Image source: Getty Images

The CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) share price is pushing higher today after the release of an announcement.

At the time of writing the biotherapeutics company’s shares are up over 1% to $295.62.

What did CSL announce?

This morning CSL announced that its Seqirus vaccines business has signed a final agreement with the Commonwealth of Australia.

This agreement is for the supply of 51 million doses of the University of Queensland-CSL COVID-19 vaccine candidate (V451), should clinical trials be successful.

According to the release, it also includes an up-front financial commitment from the Government to support the clinical and technical development activities that CSL will need to assume in order to progress V451.

Furthermore, if clinical trials are successful, the agreement secures access to onshore production and supply of the vaccine for Australia.

What is V451?

The company advised that it has been working hard to respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic and has invested significant resources in the rapid development and large-scale manufacture of V451, along with a number of other therapeutic programs.

Pleasingly, the large-scale Phase 2b/3 clinical study for V451 is almost ready. Management notes that it will be a randomised, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled study across numerous countries and upwards of 100 sites.

The study will evaluate efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety in adults aged 18 years and above.

Subject to progress in the current Phase 1 study, the first subject for the Phase 2b/3 would be enrolled in December 2020, with the goal of completing recruitment by March 2021.

Management commented: “We are committed to demonstrating the vaccine is safe and effective prior to availability in the market. Discussions have already commenced with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to ensure this goal is met, while also making the vaccine available to the Australian population in the shortest possible time.”

In addition, CSL advised that it is working to engage partner organisations to assist with production of further doses with the goal of providing broader access to the vaccine, should clinical trials be successful.

This is on top of the agreement the company has signed with the Government to manufacture the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine candidate (AZD1222) if successful.

Though, given the risk, effort, cost and uncertainty associated with the development of these novel vaccines, management warned that it is too early to calculate the financial impact of these activities.

Wondering where you should invest $1,000 right now?

When investing expert Scott Phillips has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the flagship Motley Fool Share Advisor newsletter he has run for more than eight years has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.*

Scott just revealed what he believes could be the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at near dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they could be great buys right now.

*Returns as of August 16th 2021

James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

More on Share Gainers