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Vivian Xie
12 Oct 2022

BioNTech to set up mRNA manufacturing hubs in Australia

BioNTech, co-developers of one of the first mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, have signed an agreement to create manufacturing hubs in and around the Australian Victoria state in a bid to increase the country’s mRNA manufacturing abilities.

Germany biotechnology company BioNTech SE (Mainz, Germany), developers of the widely utilised COVID-19 mRNA vaccine with Pfizer, have confirmed their partnership with Australia’s Victoria state to set up mRNA research and manufacturing centres in the area.

The partnership will also see the creation of a centre that will run clinical research on experimental mRNA vaccines and therapeutics, with the intention of attracting scientific experts from around the world. It was also agreed that an mRNA manufacturing facility will be set up in Melbourne.  

The announcement comes on the heels of Australia’s initial immunisation program, which was marred by import delays leading to political backlash. The government has since been pressured to invest in domestic mRNA vaccine manufacturing facilities to ease supply chain challenges. Victorian Minister for Innovation, Medical Research, and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford stated: “The state-of-the-art facility is the missing link in our mRNA ecosystem, and it means Victorians can be the first in the world to potentially receive new vaccines and treatments for oncology and infectious diseases.” 

Victoria had previously signed a deal with Moderna (Cambridge, USA) for the construction of an mRNA manufacturing facility at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), making the BioNTech deal the second to be signed for Australia in a bid to increase the country’s domestic mRNA manufacturing capabilities. 

BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin commented that science was only effective when applied “outside of the laboratories and reaches people worldwide... This partnership is a major step forward to enable access to mRNA technology and promote collaborations in the Asia–Pacific region.”  

Source: German COVID vaccine developer BioNTech signs research deal with Australia | Reuters 

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