Thursday, June 20, 2024

Monash hub to boost COVID vaccine supply

A new purpose-built facility at Monash University will increase Victoria’s medicine manufacturing capability, including COVID-19 vaccines, the Victorian Government announced today.

Minister for Higher Education, Gayle Tierney said the government would fund the $21.65 million trio of projects at the Clayton campus – including the $13.8 million expansion of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) – which would produce Australia’s first mRNA vaccine for clinical trials.

“This is a huge scientific development putting Monash and local Victorian experts at the forefront of the global fight against COVID-19 – and we’re so proud to be supporting this groundbreaking research,” the Minister said.

MMIC has already played a role in developing tools to combat COVID-19, including a therapy inhaled through the nose. The new facilities include more office space and laboratories to strengthen collaboration between scientists and medicine manufacturers.

The funding will also help create the $4.63 million oNKo-innate hub which will drive innovation in the development of cancer therapies, and the creation and commercialisation of treatments.

“Monash University is pleased to receive funding through the VHESIF to drive commercial and entrepreneurial activity across the Monash Technology Precinct,” said Monash University Vice-Chancellor, Margaret Gardner.

The project will also support the $3.21 million UP-LINK University Partner Collaboration Space which will be a home for start-ups to digitally streamline smart manufacturing. It is the first component of the larger Monash Smart Manufacturing Hub project that will help drive increased research commercialisation and entrepreneurship.

“We’re serious about developing our mRNA manufacturing capacity and doing it quickly, because it will save lives. This support for an Australian-first clinical trial is another major step in a really important journey,” said Minister for Innovation, Medial Research and the Digital Economy, Jaala Pulford.

She said the project will create opportunities for about 1,000 students, and more than 350 jobs direct research positions and secondary jobs as well as 100 jobs in construction. Construction is due to be completed next year.

The Government contributed $16.1 million to the project in a joint effort by Monash University and its partners, and was one of many pitches from universities to the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector.

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