Moderna local manufacturing to arrive in 2024

24-03-2022

The federal and Victorian governments along with vaccine manufacturer Moderna have reached a final agreement to produce mRNA vaccines in Australia for the first time. 

Construction on a new manufacturing plant to be built in Victoria is expected to begin by the end of the year and it will be able to produce 100 million doses annually.

The vaccines will be for COVID-19 and other diseases like the seasonal flu and Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed today that it is critical that mRNA vaccines can be produced in Australia

The final agreement comes only a few months after an in-principle agreement was signed last December.

This will make Australia one of only a handful of locations manufacturing mRNA vaccines around the world, including the US and Europe. However there are plans for a extensive new Moderna plant in Kenya.

Moderna has set up an Australian subsidiary, and the company recently announced significant plans to expand across the Asia-Pacific.

First vaccines in 2024

It is hoped the new plant will produce its first Australian-made vaccines some time in 2024.

The precise location for the new plant will be determined between the Victorian government and Moderna.

Meanwhile, according to media sources Moderna has indicated it has much more in mind for the facility than just COVID-19 vaccines, with plans to develop a number of other respiratory treatments and vaccines.

One of the advantages of mRNA technology is it can be adapted relatively easily to target existing and new diseases. 

Moderna's general ganager for Australia and New Zealand, Michael Azrak, said they hope to work with Australian researchers to bring different vaccines and treatments to market.

"Moderna is backing the development of a world-class mRNA industry in Australia," he said.

"In addition to local manufacturing, we're going to partner with local researchers and institutions to deliver collaborative R&D that will develop the next generation of mRNA treatments."

Two of the most likely early adaptations of the technology will target the seasonal flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

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