Victoria makes Australia’s first mRNA vaccine candidate

By Our Reporter
Representative image. Photo by Spencer Davis on Unsplash

Victorian scientists and manufacturers have created Australia’s first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate—Australia’s first ever mRNA drug product—in just five months, enabling clinical trials to begin in the new year.

Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford today announced 450 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate have been produced in Boronia, enabling 150 people to take part in Phase 1 clinical trials run by the Doherty Institute, with results expected later in 2022.

The Andrews Labor Government invested $5 million to enable manufacture of the vaccine candidate, with  dedicated equipment shipped to manufacturer IDT Australia from Canada. The machine processed nanoparticles into final liquid drug form, sterilised the product and filled vials with mRNA vaccine, an official press release said.

Victoria is one of the few places in the world with the capability to develop and manufacture mRNA therapeutics and vaccines and the mRNA-based vaccine breakthrough demonstrates Victoria’s leadership in the mRNA sector.

The project has been led by mRNA Victoria in partnership with Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), the Doherty Institute and IDT Australia—a landmark collaboration between Victoria’s renowned medical research and manufacturing sectors.

The Labor  Government established mRNA Victoria to drive the establishment of a sovereign mRNA manufacturing industry and earlier this year supported a number of proposals from Victorian industry and consortia as part of the Commonwealth’s Approach to Market (ATM) on mRNA manufacturing capability.

Pulford, said, “This is an Australian first that confirms Victoria as a leader in mRNA therapeutics and manufacturing—it is an incredible achievement to have made an mRNA vaccine candidate that is ready for clinical trials.”

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