Monash University: Moderna to build manufacturing facility at Monash

Monash University is delighted that Moderna will be joining other world-leading research and technology companies in the Monash Technology Precinct, under an agreement signed with the Victorian government.

Moderna will build its first mRNA production facility in the Southern Hemisphere at Clayton in Melbourne’s south-east, and is expected to produce up to 100 million vaccine doses each year in Australia, including COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

It comes six months after Moderna, the Australian Government and the Victorian Government reached an in-principle agreement to build the facility, and will be the world’s first mRNA production facility to be located on a university campus.

Not only will it secure the production of mRNA vaccines on Australian shores and ensure Australians have quick and easy access to vaccines, it will boost the country’s medical research and development, clinical trials and global supply chain access.

In addition to the Moderna manufacturing site, Monash University is partnering with the Victorian government to establish the Monash Centre for Advanced mRNA Medicines Manufacturing and Workforce Training.

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC said Moderna is joining a precinct with other world-leading research facilities including CSIRO, Australian Synchrotron, Victorian Heart Hospital, and Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, along with a wide array of industry partners, a nation-leading start-up hub and high calibre graduates.

“The combination of the manufacturing site, Monash research and training centre bring together all of the elements of an mRNA innovation ecosystem that will deliver long-term health and economic benefits for the community,” Professor Gardner said.

Professor Gardner said the facility will complement Monash’s own RNA ecosystem with ground-breaking work that will lead to the rapid development of life-saving vaccines and therapeutic treatments for infectious diseases and cancers.

This includes the development of an mRNA vaccine candidate, which is now undergoing Phase 1 clinical trials with the Doherty Institute.

“Monash is at the cutting edge of mRNA/RNA therapeutics development and we are delighted that Moderna will be joining specialists from across the university and research sector to build an Australian mRNA ecosystem right here in Clayton,” Professor Gardner said.

“Today’s announcement is recognition of the collaborative work between Australian and Victorian governments, other research institutions and industry partners to develop vaccines and treatments for a range of global health issues.”

In 2020, the Federal Government provided just over $1.5 million through its Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to Monash and the Doherty Institute to begin the clinical trial process.

In June 2021, the Victorian Government granted Monash University $5 million through mRNA Victoria to manufacture the vaccine.

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