The global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has opened a pilot vaccine facility in eastern Melbourne that uses a new ground-breaking technology for the delivery of vaccines.
GSK's team in Melbourne has worked with Monash University and global vaccine experts in Belgium to develop a new technology to preserve the sterility of vaccines in mass production.
Blow-fill-seal technology (BFS) is an efficient, cost-effective way to produce high quality products in large volumes by filling new containers with sterile liquid and instantly sealed all in the same process.
The process should reduce the cost of manufacturing vaccines and assist in making life-saving vaccines more affordable in developing countries.
Commercialisation of the new technology will be tested over the next three years.
The new facility was funded through a A$7.7 million investment from GSK and a A$1 million grant from the Australian Government's Manufacturing Transition Programme.
General Manager of GSK Australia Geoff McDonald, said that if the pilot is successful "it will be the first commercial production of a vaccine delivered using blow-fill-seal technology."
Mr McDonald said Australia has world-class research infrastructure and a strong pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity, and that "these strengths make Australia an attractive environment for investment by the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, especially when paired with supportive government programs and policies."Melbourne is a global medical research and development hub, and Victoria is Australia's undisputed leader in medical research, annually receiving over 40 per cent of national government medical research funding.