Melbourne Moderna mRNA factory a step closer following announcement

Agreements between the federal and Victorian governments and US-based biotechnology company Moderna have been finalised, the participants have announced, with an upcoming site at Monash University to be built for onshore mRNA vaccine production and research.

In a joint press conference on Monday morning, prime minister Anthony Albanese and Victorian premier Dan Andrews said the finalised ten-year partnership would also see Moderna establish an Australian headquarters in Victoria.

It will be the only manufacturing site for the company in the hemisphere.

“The pandemic has shown us how important local manufacturing capability is to our security and to our health,” said Albanese.

“This significant deal will protect Australians and Australian sovereignty.”

An in-principle agreement between the two governments and Moderna was announced in December by the former federal government., led by Scott Morrison.

The factory will have capacity for 100 million doses of mRNA vaccine annually, with the agreement providing “local and ongoing access” to Moderna’s Spikevax Covid-19 vaccine. It is expected to be operational in 2024, pending approvals.

The agreement would also deliver Australian mRNA production capability, and the possibility of developing both new vaccines and “a world-class mRNA ecosystem based in Melbourne” attracting highly-skilled staff and researchers.

“We look forward to being a part of the Monash Clayton precinct and contributing to the R&D ecosystem in Melbourne and across Australia,” said Moderna’s ANZ general manager Michael Azrak.

Image credit: Moderna

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