A new body in Victoria, mRNA Victoria, will build the state’s mRNA manufacturing capability and accelerate its future supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
Led by inaugural CEO Michael Kapel, mRNA Victoria will deliver on the state government’s $50 million investment in securing local supply. Kapel will oversee the Victoria’s establishment of commercial-scale mRNA manufacturing capability within the next 12 months.
“Victoria is the national home for mRNA and we’re well placed to lead the development of Australia’s mRNA manufacturing,” minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said.
“I am delighted to appoint Michael Kapel as the chief executive of mRNA Victoria – he will play a lead role in helping us to fast-track this vital work.”
mRNA Victoria will leverage the state’s significant scientific expertise and partner with universities, research institutes and industry across the globe to accelerate onshore mRNA manufacturing.
The dedicated organisation will be supported by a science advisory group of industry and technical experts, such as Victoria’s chief scientist Amanda Caples who will convene the advisory group. This group will provide advice to the government on vital steps to support the project.
The new body builds on the government’s establishment of the $2B Breakthrough Victoria Fund, the $60M Victorian Startup Capital Fund and the $25M Venture Debt Fund.
mRNA has created a new frontier for vaccine development and become a promising new weapon in the fight against cancer and other diseases.
“Our investment puts Victoria at the forefront of developing life-saving vaccines and therapeutic treatments for all Australians,” Treasurer Tim Pallas said.
Developing mRNA capability in Victoria will support local manufacturing, provide vaccine security and create a more effective defence against future pandemics.
The Victorian government will continue to work collaboratively with the federal government, given its recently announced investment in end-to-end mRNA manufacturing in Australia.