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Completion of Moderna’s mRNA Manufacturing Facility in Melbourne Nears

“Today marks another important milestone in Victoria’s partnership with the Commonwealth government and Moderna,” Victoria’s industry minister said.

Construction of Moderna’s mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Melbourne—the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere—has reached its halfway mark, ahead of schedule.

During his visit to the facility in Clayton to celebrate the occasion, Victorian Minister of Industry Ben Carroll said the new facility would create more jobs and change people’s lives.

“Today marks another important milestone in Victoria’s partnership with the Commonwealth Government and Moderna as we look to build Australia’s mRNA industry, manufacture vaccines locally, and change lives for decades to come,” Mr. Carroll said on Sept. 18 in a statement.

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So far, the construction phase has hired 500 people, and when completed and operational, an additional 500 jobs will be created for advanced manufacturing purposes.

Once completed as scheduled in late 2024, the facility will be able to produce 100 million mRNA vaccine doses per year for respiratory diseases, including influenza, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), and COVID-19.

“Moderna’s mRNA Vaccine Manufacturing Facility making its home in Victoria sends a strong signal to the world that we are global leaders in mRNA research and development. The facility is currently Australia’s largest advanced manufacturing project,” Mr. Carroll said.

Steve Dimopoulos, Victoria state MP for Oakleigh, also welcomed the facility in his area:

“When these businesses decide to set up operations in Victoria, it’s great for our state and the local community; up to 500 jobs during the construction phase and up to 500 more once fully operational is a fantastic result.”

Moderna’s Michael Azrak, general manager for Moderna Australia and New Zealand, welcomed the development.

“We’re thrilled by the rapid progress we’ve made in constructing our first large-scale mRNA manufacturing facility for Australia, bringing us one step closer to its completion in the second half of 2024,” said Mr. Azrak.

“This milestone underscores Moderna’s unwavering commitment to providing Australians with timely access to pandemic response capabilities and the vital capacity to manufacture groundbreaking mRNA vaccines for seasonal respiratory and emerging viruses.”

This manufacturing facility complements the recent opening of Moderna’s Regional Research Centre for Respiratory Medicines and Tropical Disease, and Moderna Headquarters for Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia, and Oceania in Victoria.

It serves as a key component of Moderna’s strategic investment into Australia, allowing Victorians to be among the first people in the world to trial new mRNA medicines for a range of health conditions.

The Andrews Labor government invested $12.3 million (US$7.93 million) in the 2023-24 Victorian Budget to develop mRNA technology and build on the $1.3 billion investment in medical research since 2014.

Victoria is responsible for almost 60 percent of Australia’s pharmaceutical exports, and the biotechnology sector supports more than 100,000 full-time jobs.

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