Victoria’s standing as a leading producer of life-saving vaccines and medicines will grow with global giant BioNTech creating a research and manufacturing facility in Melbourne, in partnership with the Victorian Government.
Building on an in-principle agreement reached with the Victorian Government last year, the German biotechnology company will establish its mRNA facility at La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus, creating around 1,200 local jobs over 10 years.
In addition to drugs and vaccines, the new facility will produce next generation mRNA vaccines and treatments for clinical trials as well as research-grade RNA materials, enabling local researchers and biotechnology companies to tap into BioNTech’s world-leading expertise in developing immunotherapies.
Included in the agreement is BioNTech’s clinical cancer program to deliver precision oncology therapies for hard-to-treat cancers for up to 4,000 Australians over the next 10 years.
The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will be the co-ordinating delivery partner for the program together with other Victorian hospitals Austin Health, Alfred Health and Monash Health. New treatments will target pancreatic, neck, cervical, oesophageal and colorectal cancers, with more hard-to-treat cancers to be included.
BioNTech will also establish an innovation centre in Parkville to support the commercialisation of local research, helping fast-track new therapies from the lab to patients.
The agreement will see BioNTech’s artificial intelligence (AI) subsidiary InstaDeep, which is leading the development of an AI-driven early warning system for potential pandemics, set up its Australian head office in Victoria.
This AI capability will complement La Trobe University’s Centre for AI in Medical Innovation, which will be established with support from the Victorian Government under the agreement.
With Moderna already building a major hub in Victoria, the state will become the only place in the world where both mRNA leaders host R&D and manufacturing operations. Victoria will be the only place in the Southern Hemisphere making mRNA vaccines.
BioNTech gained wide public recognition during the pandemic for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, developed using its pioneering mRNA technology, which has been administered 3.5 billion times in 175 countries.
Learn more about Victoria’s research and development capabilities.