Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre granted $1 million for mRNA research

Image credit: Ben Carroll MP

Researchers at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre are set to receive a $1 million grant from the Victorian government for the development of new mRNA treatments for various hard-to-treat cancers.  

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll toured the centre today and announced the latest round of funding from the mRNA Victoria Research Acceleration Fund. 

“Researchers at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre are building our mRNA industry to not only save lives, but also to create secure jobs for workers across the state,” said Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll. 

The fund delivers one-off grants of up to $500,000 to support research that targets infectious diseases like COVID-19, as well as non-communicable diseases like cancer, metabolic, degenerative, and auto-immune diseases. 

“The potential for mRNA to treat cancer is huge. Our world-renowned researchers are building on decades of research excellence to harness the power of mRNA to treat cancer, with benefits for millions of cancer patients worldwide,” said Professor Shelley Dolan, chief executive officer of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. 

The Victorian government has allocated $2.7 million to support 16 research projects that seek to develop mRNA treatments for a range of diseases and health concerns, including cancer, tuberculosis, malaria, and Parkinson’s Disease. The Victorian Budget 2023/24 includes a $12.3 million investment in the development of mRNA technology, building on the state’s $1.2 billion investment in research since 2014, creating more than 100,000 secure jobs and training opportunities in the state’s biotech sector. 

The state has already led the development of mRNA technology in Australia, with Moderna’s mRNA manufacturing facility underway in Clayton, which is expected to produce up to 100 million vaccine doses annually. 

“Victoria is already a world leader in medical research and mRNA technology – researchers are now one step closer to leading mRNA therapies for treatments for cancer that will change the lives of cancer patients and their families,” said Premier Daniel Andrews.