The Victorian Government has announced the establishment of mRNA Victoria, a new dedicated organisation charged with building the state’s mRNA manufacturing capability.
mRNA Victoria, to be led by former Commissioner to the Americas for the Government of Victoria, Michael Kapel, has been tasked with overseeing the establishment of commercial-scale mRNA manufacturing capability in Victoria within the next 12 months.
The new body will be supported by a science advisory group of industry and technical experts led by Victoria’s Chief Scientist Amanda Caples which will provide advice to the Government on crucial steps to support the project.
The announcement comes a month after Acting Premier James Merlino said the state government will invest $50 million to establish mRNA vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing in Melbourne, in partnership with Victoria’s world-class universities, leading researchers, and Australian and international manufacturing companies.,
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford said mRNA Victoria will leverage the state’s scientific expertise and partner with universities, research institutes and industry across the globe to accelerate onshore mRNA manufacturing.
“Victoria is the national home for mRNA and we’re well placed to lead the development of Australia’s mRNA manufacturing,” the Minister said.
“I am delighted to appoint Michael Kapel as the chief executive of mRNA Victoria – he will play a lead role in helping us to fast-track this vital work.”
Treasurer Tim Pallas said developing mRNA capability in Victoria will provide vaccine security, support local manufacturing and create a more robust defence against future pandemics.
“Our investment puts Victoria at the forefront of developing life-saving vaccines and therapeutic treatments for all Australians,” Mr Pallas concluded.