MIPS COVID vaccine team welcomes $50m mRNA announcement

The Victorian Government today announced a $50 million investment in mRNA vaccine manufacturing.

Acting Premier James Merlino and Minister for Health Martin Foley announced the funding at Monash Health to invest in critical medical manufacturing technology and research over two years as part of the Victorian State Budget 21/22.

MIPS' Professor Colin Pouton, who led the team of researchers that developed Australia’s first COVID-19 mRNA vaccine candidates, welcomed the news.

Professor Pouton has been advocating for Australia to have its own platform for a quick response to emerging viruses, and says that mRNA vaccination is the fastest way to go.

“We are very keen to push ahead with the second generation COVID-19 vaccine we are working on, and looking to the future, we’re collaborating with a number of researchers who are interested in how the mRNA platform could be used for other medical applications,” Professor Pouton said.

“This funding presents an opportunity for Monash University to help build an Australian mRNA ecosystem and a range of new therapeutic products," he said.

Monash University Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Senior Vice-President (Enterprise and Governance), Professor Ken Sloan, said today’s investment will harness the existing world-class capability of Monash and other Victorian partners to support significant, scaled domestic mRNA vaccine production.

“Monash University brings together mRNA specialists from the fields of biotechnology, infectious disease, immunity and cancer, at the leading edge of a new era in novel mRNA therapeutics,” he said.

Full story on the main Monash University site.