register

News & Trends - Biotechnology

National investment to produce revolutionary mRNA therapies at UQ

Health Industry Hub | April 30, 2021 |
[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

Biotech News: A facility at The University of Queensland (UQ) looks to produce mRNA vaccines and cancer therapies for research and development within months after receiving backing from the Australian Government.

UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) will host the “BASE” facility, via a $2.2 million investment of matched funds from the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) through Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA), and the University.

TIA CEO Dr Stuart Newman said that this support would enable the facility to produce high-quality, high-purity nucleic acids – RNA and DNA – to support the work of nucleic acid researchers across the country.

“This investment complements recent investments in later-stage, large-scale mRNA manufacturing, as well as TIA’s own ongoing investment in biologics production to support R&D,” Dr Newman said.

The pandemic response had demonstrated that mRNA vaccines can be quickly designed to protect against new variants and other emerging diseases.

“mRNA vaccines have been key in our fight against COVID-19, while other mRNA vaccines are showing great potential in the fight against cancer,” said Associate Professor Timothy Mercer.

Professor Trent Munro commented that the facility would provide an important connection between R&D organisations and large-scale manufacturers seeking to work with the ‘revolutionary’ technologies.

“It is vital that Australia develops sovereign capability in the pre-clinical synthesis of RNA and DNA to support early-stage R&D by Australian researchers and the biotechnology industry,” Professor Munro said.

“TIA has recognised this growing demand and made a targeted investment in building capability, and we will now be seeking further investment to expand the services we can offer in this space.”

Professor Linda Lua, Director of UQ’s Protein Expression Facility, said the federal investment builds on the broad range of advanced biomanufacturing experience at UQ.

“The production of large quantities of highly pure RNA and DNA for rapid response is challenging, and requires advanced equipment and a skilled team of scientists – we are delighted to team with BASE to advance research into this emerging area,” Professor Lua said.

The Queensland Department of Environment and Science said UQ’s demonstrated experience in vaccine development and infectious disease research made it the perfect location to ensure that all Australians can benefit from this important facility.

The facility will benefit from AIBN’s development of new nanoparticles – ‘nanocontainers’ that deliver nucleic acids to their target in the cell, similar to those used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

It is also envisioned that BASE will work collaboratively with other related facilities nationally, including UNSW Sydney, which has particular strengths in nanoparticle delivery systems targeting cancer and RNA chemistry.

Dr Mercer said that mRNA vaccines work by prompting our cells to make proteins that induce an immune response and cause the body to produce antibodies.

“They also encode small proteins expressed by cancerous cells, allowing immune cells to recognise and attack tumours.”

BASE harnesses the collective UQ expertise of the leading RNA research by Associate Professor Timothy Mercer, the biomanufacturing powerhouse National Biologics Facility led by Professor Trent Munro, and the RNA and DNA production expertise of the Protein Expression Facility, led by Professor Linda Lua.


About the author

About the author

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam luctus finibus scelerisque. Nunc bibendum ipsum sed augue fringilla fringilla. Nullam at consectetur leo. Praesent viverra rutrum porta. Quisque vitae mi vel purus vulputate tincidunt. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Suspendisse et mi quis nisi rhoncus feugiat at ac tellus. Sed aliquam sodales nulla ac auctor. Sed pretium lobortis purus accumsan ullamcorper. Phasellus sodales vel odio in lobortis. Duis maximus sagittis bibendum. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Nunc dictum tincidunt ipsum in vestibulum. Donec ut sem consectetur, aliquam quam vitae, pharetra orci. Nam egestas non velit eu rhoncus. Duis congue neque non lacus tincidunt porta. Vestibulum ultricies pulvinar sem, molestie congue dui aliquet non.
  • Ut imperdiet leo id lorem fermentum consectetur.
  • Ut vitae orci et dui varius tincidunt.
  • Ut id magna non libero vestibulum pharetra ac faucibus nulla.
Aliquam erat volutpat. Vestibulum vitae varius diam. Nulla eget congue ante. Nunc ullamcorper sagittis augue vel dictum. Mauris finibus nibh ut pulvinar auctor. Vestibulum ut faucibus nisi. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Quisque porta tortor ac justo malesuada elementum. Nulla tellus ante, cursus nec ex sit amet, suscipit bibendum arcu. Duis posuere orci dui, et mollis enim dictum at. Sed ullamcorper, sapien ut vulputate viverra, sem purus porttitor tellus, nec mattis mauris ligula sed risus. Nulla sagittis id ipsum eu mattis. Link to full profile

Digital & Innovation

Healthcare Technology Digital Innovations - Genomics industry making headlines at HealthData21

Genomics industry making headlines at HealthData21

Health Industry Hub | May 13, 2021 |

Australia’s new genomics industry alliance Industry Genomics Network Alliance (InGeNA) will bring together representatives from the key sectors of diagnostics, […]

More


News & Trends - Medical Technology

MedTech News - B. Braun launches renal care centre in NSW and QLD

B. Braun launches renal care centres in NSW and QLD

Health Industry Hub | May 13, 2021 |

MedTech News: B. Braun, one of the world’s leading providers of medical devices, dialysis products and renal care services has […]

More


News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Pharma News - BMS immunotherapy combo approved in aggressive thoracic cancer

BMS immunotherapy combo approved in aggressive thoracic cancer

Health Industry Hub | May 13, 2021 |

Pharma News: Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) welcomed the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) registration of its immunotherapy combination drugs for the first-line […]

More


News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Pharma News - GSK bridges the skills gap between academia and pharma industry

GSK bridges the skills gap between academia and pharma industry

Health Industry Hub | May 13, 2021 |

Pharma News: Six PhD graduates have recently traded in their lab coats for laptops after landing a place in a […]

More