MELBOURNE, Australia, October 7, 2022 (Newswire.com) - mRNA Victoria announces that the developers of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccine will also establish an Asia-Pacific mRNA clinical research and development centre, enabling Victorian and Australian researchers to advance the next generation of transformative mRNA vaccines and therapies by partnering on scientific mentoring, business development advice and drug design.
Once operational, the new facility to be based in Melbourne, will manufacture next generation mRNA treatments and vaccines for research and clinical trials, including potential infectious diseases, cancer medicines and personalised cancer treatments. The facility will form part of BioNTech's global network and attract demand for Melbourne's clinical trial expertise from researchers locally, nationally, and globally.
In establishing its first Asia-Pacific clinical development and research collaboration centre in Melbourne, BioNTech will provide state-of-the-art drug development and translational research capabilities to the local ecosystem.
Through this partnership with the Victorian State Government, BioNTech will collaborate with medical researchers, supporting with their expertise in mRNA-based drug design and development to further accelerate medical breakthroughs and the translation of research into commercial products.
BioNTech will also establish their AI-driven early warning platform in Victoria, ensuring Australia is at the forefront of global identification and response to future pandemics.
Founded in 2008 in Germany, BioNTech has become a world leader in mRNA research, especially in infectious disease and oncology. The company has become well-known in recent years through the successful development of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 which is based on BioNTech's proprietary mRNA technology.
With global medical research over the next decade expected to be dominated by mRNA research, Melbourne has become the leading site for medical research in the Asia-Pacific, home to global innovative biotechnology companies and world-renowned medical research institutions.
Following the recent agreement with Moderna to establish population-scale commercial mRNA vaccine manufacturing in Melbourne, the establishment of BioNTech's clinical-scale manufacturing facility means Victoria will be the first location in the world with the world's two leading mRNA companies operating manufacturing facilities.
The Victorian State Government has invested $1.3 billion in medical research since 2014 and has helped create more than 100,000 direct and indirect full-time jobs in the state's biotech sector.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford
"This agreement establishes Victoria as the leading site for mRNA research in the Asia-Pacific. The state-of-the-art facility is the missing link in our mRNA ecosystem and means Victorians can be the first in the world to potentially receive new vaccines and treatments for oncology and infectious diseases. It is a gamechanger for our medical research community and could lead to better health outcomes for patients worldwide and jobs for Victorians for decades to come."
Quotes attributable to Victorian Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas
"It is a coup for a global innovation leader like BioNTech to establish their regional research and clinical operations in Victoria. This will see incredible collaboration opportunities for our local researchers and biotechnology companies and more specialist high-value jobs for Victorians."
Quotes attributable to Professor Uğur Şahin, CEO and Co-Founder of BioNTech
"Science and innovation can only make a difference if it is applied outside of the laboratories and reaches people worldwide. This partnership is a major step forward to enable access to mRNA technology and promote collaboration. Australia provides excellent academic research, and we are looking forward to collaborating with world-class scientists and researchers to strengthen Australia's mRNA ecosystem and jointly develop novel treatments and vaccines for people worldwide."
Quotes attributable to Michael Kapel, CEO of mRNA Victoria
"This is a very significant development for medical research in Melbourne and the Asia-Pacific region. BioNTech will accelerate the capability of the research community to translate their critical R&D into clinical outcomes at pace and scale."
mRNA Victoria is a whole of government agency responsible for driving the development and delivery of the Victorian Government's agenda to establish the leading hub in Asia-Pacific for mRNA research, commercialisation and manufacturing.
mRNA Victoria identifies key capabilities, gaps and opportunities and leads the engagement and partnership with domestic and international companies, researchers and stakeholders on behalf of the Victorian Government to build RNA capability through a suite of investments and programs.
In performing these functions, mRNA Victoria is advised by a Scientific Advisory Group made up of world leading experts from the medical research sector and is also staffed with experts in medical research and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Find out more at http://www.djpr.vic.gov.au/mrnavictoria
Source: mRNA Victoria