Moderna will build its first mRNA production facility in the Southern Hemisphere at Clayton in Melbourne’s south-east, and is expected to produce up to 100 million vaccine doses each year in Australia, including COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
It comes six months after Moderna, the Australian Government and the Victorian Government reached an in-principle agreement to build the facility, and will be the world’s first mRNA production facility to be located on a university campus.
Not only will it secure the production of mRNA vaccines on Australian shores and ensure Australians have quick and easy access to vaccines, it will boost the country’s medical research and development, clinical trials and global supply chain access.
In addition to the Moderna manufacturing site, Monash University is partnering with the Victorian government to establish the Monash Centre for Advanced mRNA Medicines Manufacturing and Workforce Training.
Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC said Moderna is joining a precinct with other world-leading research facilities including CSIRO, Australian Synchrotron, Victorian Heart Hospital, and Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, along with a wide array of industry partners, a nation-leading start-up hub and high calibre graduates.
"The combination of the manufacturing site, Monash research and training centre bring together all of the elements of an mRNA innovation ecosystem that will deliver long-term health and economic benefits for the community," Professor Gardner said.
Professor Gardner said the facility will complement Monash’s own RNA ecosystem with ground-breaking work that will lead to the rapid development of life-saving vaccines and therapeutic treatments for infectious diseases and cancers.
This includes the development of an mRNA vaccine candidate, which is now undergoing Phase 1 clinical trials with the Doherty Institute.
"Monash is at the cutting edge of mRNA/RNA therapeutics development and we are delighted that Moderna will be joining specialists from across the university and research sector to build an Australian mRNA ecosystem right here in Clayton," Professor Gardner said.
"Today’s announcement is recognition of the collaborative work between Australian and Victorian governments, other research institutions and industry partners to develop vaccines and treatments for a range of global health issues."
In 2020, the Federal Government provided just over $1.5 million through its Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to Monash and the Doherty Institute to begin the clinical trial process.
In June 2021, the Victorian Government granted Monash University $5 million through mRNA Victoria to manufacture the vaccine.
About Monash University
Monash University is a modern, global, research-intensive university, delivering education and research excellence in Australia and across the Indo-Pacific.
For more than 60 years, we’ve been making positive change.
We’re realising our purpose, which is through research and education to address the challenges of our age - climate change, geopolitical security and thriving communities - for the betterment of our community.
With four campuses in Australia, as well as campuses in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Mumbai and Suzhou, and a major centre in Prato, our global network enables us to enrich our education and research, and nurture deep and enduring relationships across the region.
Our global reputation for education and research excellence ranks us in the world’s top-100 universities.
About the Monash Technology Precinct
The Monash Technology Precinct is Victoria’s largest employment precinct outside of the CBD, and one of Australia’s most diverse ecosystems of globally-connected innovators and enterprise across future technologies, advanced manufacturing, health, sustainable development and education. Here, the collaboration between researchers, infrastructure and industry drives innovation and translation of ground-breaking research into commercial opportunities that deliver real impact to human lives.
The Precinct is powered by world-leading Monash University, nationally significant research centres like CSIRO, Australian Synchrotron (ANSTO) and Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, networks of major industry and commercial partnerships, talent and start-up generation, local and state governments.
The Monash Technology Precinct is a place where jobs, opportunity and where people live exist side by side. The Precinct and surrounding cluster contributes nearly $10 billion to the economy and supported 13,000 businesses and 95,000 jobs.