Last night I attended a reception and tour at the Kankakee CSL Behring plant, celebrating the company’s 100 years.
In 1916, the Australian government established CSL Behring’s parent company, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL), in Melbourne to ensure the people of Australia had their own supply of important medicines. Since then, CSL has grown into a global biotherapeutics leader with a unique combination of R&D focus, operational excellence and commercial strength.
“While much has changed at CSL since 1916, one thing has not: Our focus on patients,” said Paul Perreault, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of CSL. “We have earned a reputation over the years as a passionate yet responsible organization driven by our promise to care for the people who rely on our innovative biotherapies. The future has never been brighter for our organization, our people and our patients.”
Today, CSL provides life-saving biotherapies to people in more than 60 countries and is well positioned to continue delivering emerging innovations to patients around the world. This includes novel recombinant therapies to treat hemophilia; an investigational compound being studied in acute coronary syndrome to prevent early recurrent events following a heart attack; and exciting new advances in influenza vaccines.
The Kankakee facility has been in our community for over 60 years. Originally as Armor Pharmacueticals, which was purchased by Greyhound (yes the bus company) and then by Revelon (yes the makeup company). CSL Purchased the plant in 2004.
Since 2004 CSL Behring has continued to develop and expand in Kankakee. Now more than 1,100 people work in the 40 buildings on the 64 acre, 1 million sqf, manufacuring facility.
And CSL Behring continues to expand in Kankakee. Later this year they will complete one of their largest construction projects, called Everest. Everest is only 7 floors, but it is equal in size to a 17 story building. Once completed, the Everest Project will expand the facility’s capacity by 8 million liters a year.
In talking to the CSL Behring employees that attended the reception I was struck by the fact that most of them had been with the company for decades and started out in entry-level positions. There was also a overwhelming feeling of family, as past plant managers attended the reception and were immediately greeted by all employees at the plant. And there was also a strong feeling of pride, not only as an organization, but more so on the impact of what the company does, save lives.
Happy Birthday CSL Behring.