Melbourne will become the first place outside of Europe and the United States to manufacture mRNA vaccines following a deal between the Victorian and federal governments and biotech giant Moderna.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the facility would be key to the country’s medical manufacturing future and help meet the country’s COVID-19 vaccine needs.
Minister for Medical Research Jaala Pulford told ABC’s RN Breakfast Victoria’s heavy investment into medical research and pharmaceutical manufacturing over the past two decades had ultimately favoured Melbourne over Sydney for the bid.
Victoria’s medical research sector supports about 30,000 jobs and contributes an estimated $21 billion to the state’s economy, according to government figures.
“Melbourne is home to around 60 per cent of medical research that occurs in Australia and around 90 per cent of pharmaceutical manufacturing,” she said.
The facility will produce 25 million doses a year from 2024 and have the capacity to scale production up to 100 million doses per year to tackle future pandemics.
It will also produce other treatments for cancer, rare diseases, cellular engineering, and protein-replacement therapy.