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News & Trends - Biotechnology

New entity to operate Sydney’s facility for vaccines and cutting edge cell and gene therapies

Health Industry Hub | February 26, 2024 |

Biotech News: The New South Wales (NSW) Government has officially unveiled plans for a viral vector manufacturing facility based at Westmead. The facility, set to operate under the newly established company named Viral Vector Manufacturing Facility Pty Ltd, will play a pivotal role in producing cell and gene therapies, as well as vaccines which are increasingly being used to treat cancer, genetic diseases and infections.

Recognising the critical importance of a responsive operating model, the government envisions the commercial company as a robust foundation for the long-term success of the Viral Vector Manufacturing facility.

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey emphasised the state’s global leadership in developing and delivering cutting-edge medical advancements.

He stated, “This is cutting-edge, world-class work is happening right here in Western Sydney. This commercial-scale facility will allow us to meet local manufacturing demand and further establish us as a respected leader in this field.”

Minister for Health Ryan Park echoed the sentiment, expressing pride in NSW Health’s contribution to pioneering treatments.

“As health minister, my priority has been to embrace innovative initiatives in improving health outcomes for our community. The announcement will have real-life-changing benefits for people suffering from genetic diseases, cancers, and viral infections,” said Minister Park.

The facility’s Stage 1 is already operational for gene therapy research, with the anticipation of the first clinical trial commencing in 2025 using vectors produced in-house. The ongoing construction of Stage 2 aims to deliver a commercial-scale viral vector manufacturing facility to meet the growing global demand for viral vectors.

Minister for Medical Research David Harris emphasised the significance of a local viral vector supply, stating, “This will mean researchers have a local viral vector supply for their work and attract students and researchers from around the world. Investing in health precincts like this one is an important part of making sure that research can thrive and is integrated into the wider health ecosystem.”

Member for Parramatta Donna Davis proudly acknowledged the facility as a crucial component of the Westmead Health and Innovation Precinct, positioning Parramatta at the forefront of medical research and treatment.

The NSW Government has committed a total of $134.5 million to establish the facility and manufacture viral vector products for research and clinical trials, reaffirming its commitment to advancing healthcare on a global scale. Construction works are expected to be completed by the end of 2024, with Good Manufacturing Practice certification soon to follow.

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