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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Sanofi hits milestone in local partnership, advancing mRNA vaccine research

Health Industry Hub | October 9, 2023 |

Pharma News: Sanofi has officially inaugurated its state-of-the-art research facility at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus. This collaborative initiative marks a significant leap forward for mRNA vaccines scientific innovation in Queensland.

The R&D collaboration traces back to late 2022 when Sanofi, in conjunction with partners Griffith University, University of Queensland, and the Queensland Government, established the Translational Science Hub (TSH), a pioneering $280 million project. Leveraging the exceptional expertise and infrastructure in Queensland, this hub is designed to focus on mRNA vaccine technology and broader translational science.

The agreement between Griffith University, UQ and Sanofi encourages open collaboration and flow of information between the Parties, while recognising proprietary considerations that need to be applied to any industry engagement. Further, the MRA allows for funded projects to be established under the TSH, with project co-funding commitments from Griffith, UQ and Sanofi.

Hon. Steven Miles MP, Queensland Deputy Premier, highlighted the significance of this partnership, stating, “Queensland is home to world-class research facilities and a highly-skilled workforce driving the development of new vaccines and healthcare breakthroughs. The fact that Sanofi, one of the world’s largest healthcare companies, chose Queensland to reshape 21st century medicine is a strong sign of things to come, and a significant milestone for the Gold Coast and Griffith University.”

The TSH will initially prioritise the assessment of a new generation of mRNA vaccines. mRNA technology holds immense potential to guide specific cells in producing proteins that the immune system can readily recognise and act upon, revolutionising vaccine development.

Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans of Griffith University expressed her enthusiasm for the collaboration, affirming, “This partnership sees Griffith University as a burgeoning biotech hub on the Gold Coast, paving the way for research and discoveries that can change people’s lives for the better. Griffith is already producing innovative research and a partnership of this ilk is a sign the Gold Coast is at the epicenter of groundbreaking science.”

The researchers based on the Gold Coast will utilise Griffith University’s cutting-edge infrastructure and technology to gain a deeper understanding of mRNA vaccine technology. This understanding will enable them to optimise the platform, leading to the development of enhanced vaccines and expanding their applications in treating a variety of diseases.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Lee Smith, Griffith University, underlined the significance of this partnership, stating, “We welcome Sanofi and the Translational Science Hub to our Gold Coast campus. This partnership gives our researchers and students a unique opportunity to work on the very latest science with a global healthcare leader.”

In emphasising the importance of this milestone, Dr Iris Depaz, Managing Director of TSH & Country Medical Lead, Sanofi Australia and New Zealand, said “The opening of this Gold Coast site is another important milestone for the Translational Science Hub. It provides a space for our scientists to be physically located close to our collaborators at Griffith University to facilitate engagement and exchange. We want to play a major role in growing the scientific ecosystem in Queensland because there is a strong talent pool of some of the brightest medical minds right here in the Sunshine State.”

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