Macquarie Uni to host NSW’s $96m RNA vaccine facility

A $96 million RNA pilot manufacturing facility aimed at bridging the gap between research and commercialisation in New South Wales will be established at Macquarie University after the state government secured Myeloid Therapeutics as the sole operator.

The facility, which will be located on the university’s Wallumattagal campus, is expected to boost the state’s mRNA and RNA research and manufacturing capabilities, following similar investments in Victoria and Queensland.

According to the government, it will be the “only site in Australia… where a range of RNA therapeutics and potential delivery technologies will be independently produced” when it is completed in 2025.

The facility will build on existing investments in the space, including the NSW RNA Production and Research Network, the University of NSW RNA Institute, and Australia’s first Viral Vector Manufacturing Facility at Westmead Health and Innovation District.

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens announced Myeloid Therapeutics as the successful operator of the facility this week, following a 10-month competitive tender process.

The state government first committed to establishing the RNA pilot manufacturing facility in partnership with universities in October 2021. It has set aside a total investment of $119 million inRNA research and development over the next decade.

Mr Henskens said the US biotechnology company, which was co-founded by Australian researcher Daniel Getts in 2019, was an “experienced operator with a proven track record with a proven track record in the translation of innovation and managing research facilities”.

“The cutting-edge work that will be done at this world-leading facility has the potential to save lives by accelerating our biomedical research capabilities and boosting early phase clinical trials to combat disease,” Mr Henskens added.

Mr Getts said the company was “thrilled to partner with NSW and pioneer a ground-breaking manufacturing facility that will accelerate the development and commercialisation of RNA therapeutics, including our immunotherapies for cancer”.

Macquarie University vice-chancellor Professor S. Bruce Dowton said the new facility will contribute to a thriving medical precinct at Macquarie Park.

“Our world-leading researchers and clinicians are engaged in answering some of the most urgent medical questions of our time, working to improve diagnosis and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, motor neurone disease and cancers — all areas where RNA research has tremendous potential,” he said.

A project team that has previously worked on health, research and manufacturing projects in New South Wales has been appointed to progress planning and design for the facility.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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