Victoria to become home of mRNA vaccine manufacturing

Burnet Institute

15 December, 2021

Victoria’s world class medical research expertise has secured an Australian first and will be the home of mRNA vaccine manufacturing.

The State Government announced Victoria will become the first place in the southern hemisphere to manufacture mRNA vaccines, in an agreement with the Federal Government and Moderna.

Burnet Institute vaccine expert, Professor Heidi Drummer said the landmark decision to base Moderna’s new mRNA vaccine manufacturing facilities in Victoria will provide a major boost for vaccine security in the region.

Professor Drummer, Burnet Program Director, Disease Elimination said the manufacturing facility will bolster the pivotal work already being carried out by medical researchers.

“We welcome the announcement of mRNA manufacturing capacity for Australia and are especially excited that the technology will be developed in Victoria,” Professor Drummer said.

“The co-location of this facility with world-leading research organisations and researchers will be transformative for how our discoveries are translated to improve health."

The manufacturing facility will be capable of producing up to 25 million vaccine doses per year from 2024 and the potential to scale up to 100 million doses per year to combat future pandemics.

The State Government says mRNA has not only created a new frontier for vaccine development, but also become a promising new weapon in the fight against a range of diseases.

The new facility will also be able to produce other therapeutics, which can be used in the treatment of cancer, rare diseases, cellular engineering and protein-replacement therapy.

Acting Victorian Premier James Merlino said the manufacturing facility was a huge announcement not just for Victoria, but the whole of Australia.

“Being able to manufacture mRNA vaccines and treatments locally will lock in vaccine security both on our shores and across our region,” he said.

Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said: “This deal recognises that the home of Australian mRNA expertise is right here in Victoria.”

The announcement is a further boost to Victoria’s role in Australia’s pandemic preparedness and follows the commitment of up to $400 million in funding for the Australian Institute for Infectious Disease, of which Burnet Institute is a Foundation Partner along with the University of Melbourne and Doherty Institute.

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