Victoria to lead new vaccine manufacturing initiative

The Victorian state government will invest $50 million in new critical manufacturing technology and research to secure a supply of new vaccines and lifesaving treatments in Australia.

Following the Commonwealth identifying onshore production of mRNA vaccines as a national priority, the Victorian state government will provide the funding to establish mRNA vaccines and therapeutic manufacturing in Melbourne.

mRNA and other forms of RNA nanomedicines can be used to treat cancer, rare diseases, cellular engineering and protein-replacement therapy.

Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino said it was vital that Australia can develop and manufacture mRNA vaccines and treatments locally to ensure we have vaccines security here in Australia and across our region.

The vaccines will be produced through partnerships with the Commonwealth and medical experts from Monash University, the University of Melbourne, The Doherty Institute, and other institutes. The facility will be the first mRNA manufacturing capability in the Southern Hemisphere.

Victorian Minister for Health, Martin Foley, said Victoria is well-positioned to be at the forefront of the effort.

“There are major advantages to this technology, including high efficacy, rapid speed in development, and flexible manufacturing processes,” he said.

mRNA vaccines are considered by authorities to be a promising alternative to traditional vaccines, highlighted by the recent success of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTehcn and Moderna, which are manufactured in Europe and the US.