The Victorian government committed a sizeable $50 million (US$35 million) investment last year to launch “mRNA Victoria.” Now, as part of this endeavor, Moderna is set to commence the construction of the world’s first mRNA factory on an Australian college campus.
The first mRNA production plant in the world will be built on a university campus thanks to agreements that the American pharmaceutical behemoth Moderna has finalized with the Australian and Victorian governments, reports The Epoch Times.
Monash University in Melbourne is anticipating that construction will start at the end of 2022 and that production will start by the end of 2024.
The facility is anticipated to generate up to 100 million doses of mRNA respiratory vaccines each year, targeting respiratory viruses such as COVID-19, seasonal influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, “and other potential respiratory viruses, pending licensure,” according to the company.
“We look forward to being a part of the Monash Clayton precinct and contributing to the R&D ecosystem in Melbourne and across Australia,” Moderna General Manager Michael Azrak said in a statement on Aug. 15.
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The ten-year goal to build a “homegrown” mRNA ecosystem has been achieved, according to the Australian prime minister and the premier of Victoria.
According to the Australian ministers, it is intended to diminish Australia’s reliance on imported mRNA vaccines as well as its susceptibility to supply delays and interruptions.
Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, stated that as a result of this arrangement, Australia will house Moderna’s sole mRNA manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere.
“We’re not wasting a second in making sure we have access to the vaccines we need to keep Victorians safe,” Andrews said.
Vaccine Development Rushed
However, a medical professor at Flinders University in Australia has stated that he believes the mRNA development was expedited and that this may have contributed to problems with adverse reactions.
“I think there was early leadership by Oxford University [AstraZeneca] with the adenovirus viral vector being put into human trials very quickly, you saw that similarly with Moderna and its mRNA approach,” Nikolai Petrovsky said.
“This created a ‘follow the leader’-type mentality with (manufacturers) Sputnik and Johnson and Johnson copying the Oxford approach and Pfizer following Moderna with the mRNA approach.”
The Victorian government committed a sizeable $50 million (US$35 million) investment last year to launch “mRNA Victoria,” a program tasked with setting the standard for the mRNA vaccine sector in the coming years.
They provided Monash University with $5.4 million as part of this endeavor to build an mRNA synthesis facility on its campus.