Australia’s Mew South Wales state to fund pilot RNA facility

SYDNEY, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) — The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) is set to become home to Australia’s first mRNA and RNA-based development and manufacturing facility.

The 96 million-Australian dollar (72-million-U.S. dollar) facility would include laboratories and pre-clinical trial spaces that will enable early-stage RNA-based drug development in NSW.

During the announcement made Thursday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet lauded the investment as an avenue to combat disease, save lives and “spearhead the establishment of a local RNA industry.”

“The COVID pandemic has demonstrated to the world that it is critically important that we have the capability to develop vaccines quickly and for our country to have sovereign capability,” said Perrottet.

Without any local facilities of the capacity to produce mRNA vaccination and drugs, Australia has had to rely on overseas imports of mRNA vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna.

The facility would also mean Australian researchers would no longer need to send DNA to overseas facilities to process for mRNA COVID-19 vaccine research, which is both a costly and timely process.

Its establishment would be in cooperation with all of NSW’s universities, giving researchers across the state access to critical resources.

Leader of the NSW RNA Bioscience Alliance, professor Pall Thordarson at the University of New South Wales, said this investment would further push the state’s 2-billion-dollar medical technology sector onto the world stage.

Construction of the facility would commence following final approvals. Enditem

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