2023-11-01| Asia-Pacific

Victoria Offers Grants to Accelerate mRNA-Based Therapeutics Research

by Sinead Huang
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With almost 60% of Australia’s pharmaceutical exports coming from Victoria, it represents the state’s highest-value advanced manufactured export, supporting more than 100,000 jobs in the biotech sector. Recently, biotech manufacturing startups and research teams in Victoria have the opportunity to advance their research thanks to the mRNA Victoria Research Acceleration Fund. Minister for Economic Growth Tim Pallas launched the third round of this initiative, announcing substantial funding to support the development of RNA and mRNA-based therapeutics.

Related article: Vaccine Development Has No Limits, the Application Direction of mRNA After the Nobel Prize

Victorian Government Funding for Research Teams

The latest round of the mRNA Victoria Research Acceleration Fund provides $500,000 in grants to aid research teams in their efforts to expedite the translation of research findings. These grants can reach up to $100,000 and are primarily intended for teams engaged in early-stage research.

Victoria has established itself as a leader in mRNA (Messenger RNA) technology, bolstered by the presence of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Clayton, a suburb in Melbourne. This facility, which recently reached a significant construction milestone, is anticipated to produce a remarkable 100 million mRNA vaccine doses annually. Melbourne also serves as the headquarters for Moderna in Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Additionally, the city is now home to the Moderna Regional Research Centre for Respiratory Medicines and Tropical Diseases.

Building a Bright Future for mRNA Therapeutics

Minister Pallas underscores the significance of mRNA in Victoria’s innovation economy, providing employment opportunities in the present and holding immense potential for the future. The collaboration between industry and researchers is poised to unlock mRNA’s capabilities in advanced manufacturing, potentially leading to groundbreaking vaccines and medicines. 

Approximately $27 million has been invested in 42 research projects by the Victorian Government by far to develop new mRNA treatments and vaccines for diseases such as muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer’s, and hard-to-treat cancers. In addition, the state government has committed $10 million to establish the Monash Centre for Advanced mRNA Medicines Manufacturing and Workforce Training. This dedicated training facility aims to prepare the future workforce in the Asia-Pacific region for mRNA therapeutic development and advanced manufacturing, positioning the state as a global hub for mRNA research. “Victoria’s dedicated and talented medical researchers are changing and saving lives – and we’re proud to back them in their vital work,” said Victoria’s Medical Research Minister Ben Carroll.

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