Boronia-based company IDT Australia is set to take delivery of a key piece of equipment that will enable the critical manufacturing capability of mRNA vaccines in Victoria to commence.
The $1 million NanoAssemblr machine, which has been shipped in from Canada, will allow IDT Australia to create the final product for mRNA vaccines.
Minister for Medical Research Jaala Pulford said the equipment will manufacture more than 150 doses for Phase 1 clinical trials of Australia’s first locally-developed mRNA coronavirus vaccine, as part of a trial run by the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS).
“Victoria leads the nation in mRNA expertise with universities, research institutes and industry working together to accelerate local mRNA development and manufacturing,” the Minister stated.
“We’ve acted swiftly to establish mRNA Victoria and committed $50 million to grow mRNA capability here, and we’re already making great progress.”
Monash University Professor of Pharmaceutical Biology Colin Pouton said the NanoAssemblr machine is the only machine of its kind in Australia and can process nanoparticles into final liquid drug form, sterilise the product and fill vials with mRNA vaccines.
“This machinery will allow us to work with IDT Australia to produce our second generation COVID-19 vaccine in preparation for Phase 1 clinical trials, which will be conducted through our partnership with the Doherty Institute,” Professor Pouton added.
IDT Australia CEO Dr David Sparling said IDT’s new mRNA manufacturing capability brings a level of expertise to Victoria that is currently unavailable anywhere else in Australia.
“Victoria has a vibrant mRNA ecosystem and partnering with MIPS and the Doherty on translating mRNA clinical research to development of the vaccine on a smaller commercial scale is very exciting,” he concluded.
The clinical trials are due to start in October 2021, with preliminary results from the trials expected in the first half of 2022.