Vic announces $50m for domestic mRNA vaccine manufacturing

Thursday, 22 April, 2021

Vic announces $50m for domestic mRNA vaccine manufacturing

The Victorian Government has announced it will provide $50 million to establish mRNA vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing in Melbourne — the first such capability in the Southern Hemisphere — through partnerships with Victorian universities, leading researchers, and Australian and international manufacturing companies.

The Victorian Government noted that mRNA vaccines are a promising alternative to traditional vaccines because of their high efficacy, capacity for rapid development, low-cost manufacture and safe administration. This has been highlighted by the success of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from PfizerBioNTech and Moderna, which are manufactured in Europe and the United States. In light of this, the federal government recently identified onshore production of mRNA vaccines as a national priority.

“There are major advantages to this technology, including high efficacy, rapid speed in development and flexible manufacturing processes,” said Victorian Minister for Health Martin Foley. “Victoria is well positioned to be at the forefront of this effort.”

Developing mRNA manufacturing capability locally in Victoria would provide vaccine security, ensuring manufacturing can be contracted locally to avoid global supply chain issues and creating a more robust defence against future pandemics. The investment will also help accelerate other RNA-based projects and develop new lifesaving treatments, with mRNA and other forms of RNA nanomedicines now used in the treatment of cancer, rare diseases, cellular engineering and protein-replacement therapy.

“It’s vital that we can develop and manufacture mRNA vaccines and treatments locally to ensure we have vaccine security here in Australia and across our region,” said Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino.

The Victorian Government will work closely with the Commonwealth and experts from Monash University, The University of Melbourne, the Doherty Institute and other leading research institutes to develop the first mRNA manufacturing capability in the Southern Hemisphere. The government welcomes the opportunity to work with the Commonwealth to secure an mRNA manufacturing capability for the benefit of all Australians.

“Victoria already has the strongest mRNA capability in the country,” said Victorian Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford. “This investment will give our researchers the support they need to expand that capability.”

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