Victorian workers have started to build Moderna’s breakthrough mRNA vaccine facility in Melbourne’s south-east, supporting hundreds of jobs now and the promise of hundreds more once operations begin.
Backed by the Andrews Labor Government, the cutting-edge facility at Monash University’s Clayton campus will turbo-charge the growth of Victoria’s sovereign mRNA manufacturing industry and is the first to be built by pharmaceutical giant Moderna outside of North America.
Treasurer Tim Pallas joined Commonwealth Minister for Health Mark Butler and representatives from Moderna and Monash University at Clayton today to acknowledge the significance of the development to safeguard the community against future pandemics.
Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in 2024 and will be capable of producing 100 million vaccine doses a year. It will be the first facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
The local mRNA manufacturing capability will provide ready access to COVID-19 booster shots as well as mRNA vaccines for other respiratory viruses such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Construction will support 500 jobs with another 500 medical manufacturing and research roles to be created across Victoria’s burgeoning biotechnology industry once operational.
Moderna’s major investment in Victoria also includes the establishment of its regional headquarters and regional research centre at Clayton, and a series of research partnerships and fellowships entered into with Victorian medical research institutes.
Melbourne is recognised as a top-three global hub for medical research and innovation, along with Boston and London.
The Clayton facility confirms Victoria as Australia’s leader in mRNA vaccine and therapeutic development with the ability to manufacture mRNA vaccines in population and pandemic scale quantities, something only previously possible in the United States and Europe.
The Andrews Labor Government has invested $1.3 billion in medical research since 2014 and helped create more than 100,000 direct and indirect full-time jobs in the state’s biotech sector.
The Government has led the mRNA push in Australia, creating mRNA Victoria which has driven developments also including the announcement in October that Pfizer/BioNTech would create its Asia-Pacific mRNA clinical research and development centre in Melbourne.
Victoria is responsible for almost 60 per cent of Australia’s pharmaceutical exports – making it our highest value advanced manufactured export.
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas
“We’ve led on mRNA because we know the advantage it will provide in the event of future pandemics, and as researchers develop brilliant new ways to treat diseases.”
“Victoria will produce mRNA vaccines for Victoria, Australia and the world. This project provides hundreds of construction jobs right now and will support hundreds of medical manufacturing jobs for decades to come.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Medical Research Mary-Anne Thomas
“Victoria’s medical researchers change and save lives with their amazing discoveries – providing opportunities to collaborate with companies like Moderna ensures they can continue to break new ground.”
Quote attributable to Moderna Australia and New Zealand General Manager Michael Azrak
“The start of construction on this landmark facility is another step we take to ensure Australia has an onshore supply of respiratory mRNA vaccines that can be rapidly scaled-up to fortify the country against pathogenic threats and future pandemics.”
Reviewed 06 December 2022