Sanofi opens mRNA research site at Griffith University


Monday, 06 November, 2023

Sanofi opens mRNA research site at Griffith University

Healthcare company Sanofi has progressed its partnership with Griffith University by officially opening its latest research site at the university’s Gold Coast campus, which is set to bring global biomedical R&D to the region. The partnership forms part of the Translational Science Hub (TSH), a collaboration that links world-class researchers in Queensland with scientists at the Sanofi mRNA Centre of Excellence in France and the United States to develop the next generation of immunisations.

The TSH is a $280 million partnership between Sanofi, the Queensland Government, Griffith University and The University of Queensland that is putting the Sunshine State at the forefront of mRNA vaccine development and biomedical research in Australia. The Hub will initially focus on the evaluation of a new generation of mRNA vaccines, which instruct certain cells to produce proteins that are recognised by the immune system to mount a defence.

“Queensland is home to world-class research facilities and a highly skilled workforce driving the development of new vaccines and healthcare breakthroughs,” said Deputy Premier Steven Miles. “The fact that Sanofi, one of the world’s largest healthcare companies, chose Queensland to reshape 21st-century medicine is a strong sign of things to come, and a significant milestone for the Gold Coast and Griffith University.”

Researchers based on the Gold Coast will use Griffith University’s state-of-the art infrastructure to better understand mRNA vaccine technology, which will help to optimise the platform to produce better vaccines and expand its use in the development of therapies to treat a variety of diseases. First-of-its-kind vaccines for chlamydia, acne and even some cancers, plus improved vaccines for influenza and RSV, will be developed on the Gold Coast and across Queensland.

Sanofi operates 20 research and development sites around the world exploring new medicines and vaccines. Dr Iris Depaz, Managing Director TSH & Country Medical Lead, Sanofi Australia and New Zealand, said the opening of the Gold Coast site was an important milestone for the TSH.

“It provides a space for our scientists to be physically located close to our collaborators at Griffith University to facilitate engagement and exchange,” Depaz said. “We want to play a major role in growing the scientific ecosystem in Queensland because there is a strong talent pool of some of the brightest medical minds right here in the Sunshine State.”

“This partnership sees Griffith University as a burgeoning biotech hub on the Gold Coast, paving the way for research and discoveries that can change people’s lives for the better,” added Griffith Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans. “Griffith is already producing innovative research and a partnership of this ilk is a sign the Gold Coast is at the epicentre of groundbreaking science.”

Image caption: Dr Iris Depaz, Professor Carolyn Evans and Mark Tierney (Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning) officially welcome Sanofi to Griffith University.

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