Moderna establishes mRNA Regional Research Centre, HQ in Melbourne

Image credit: Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Biotechnology giant Moderna is opening a Regional Research Centre and Headquarters in Melbourne, boosting advancements in the local mRNA industry in Victoria. 

The new Regional Research Centre for Respiratory Medicines and Tropical Diseases sits alongside Moderna’s headquarters for Australia, New Zealand, Southwest Asia, and Oceania in Melbourne. 

The headquarters will serve as a base of operations to facilitate partnerships with Victoria’s world-leading medical research institutes and clinical trial networks and allow Victorians to be among the first people in the world to trial new mRNA innovations across a range of health conditions. 

“The establishment of Moderna’s Research Centre and headquarters in Victoria sends a strong signal to the world that we are global leaders in mRNA research and development – driving innovation to change lives and create jobs for years into the future,” Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll said yesterday during the research centre’s launch. 

Both the new headquarters and the regional research centre make up a part of Moderna’s investment in Victoria. The company is currently constructing an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Clayton, which once completed will be capable of producing 100 million vaccine doses annually. 

“By being embedded within a world-leading research and clinician community, we see huge potential in being able to innovate and accelerate life-changing mRNA medicines to patients, together,” said Dr Craig Rayner, the director for Moderna’s Asia-Pacific Regional Research Centre for Respiratory Medicines and Tropical Diseases. 

Moderna also partnered with the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Parkville to establish the first strategic collaboration for the research centre— the $3 million Monash-Moderna Quantitative Pharmacology Accelerator program, which seeks to accelerate the development of mRNA medicines for diseases through the use of computer models to predict the effects of treatments. 

The accelerator program will be the first of many collaborations with Victorian research institutes as part of Moderna’s investment in Victoria through the company’s Asia Pacific Regional Research Centre.