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Southern RNA’s Dr Romain Tropee joined the company’s Head of Operations, Garry Heaney, and Springfield City Group’s Health GM Dustin Welch to mark the start of the MRNA raw material production at Springfield.

Revolutionary mRNA manufacturing set for Greater Springfield.

Advance manufacturing of mRNA raw materials and purified mRNA will begin in Greater Springfield this month in a breakthrough step towards sovereign end-to-end vaccine manufacturing.

Australian biotech company Southern RNA and Springfield City Group have announced a partnership in Greater Springfield’s BioPark Australia to develop a scalable mRNA therapeutics production facility.

The first step will be Southern RNA’s production of mRNA raw materials, set to begin later this month from a facility in Greater Springfield.

A larger planned facility, scheduled for opening in early 2024, would allow for mRNA drug substance production and the manufacture of other therapeutics, vaccines, and cancer treatment. The output would provide sovereign capabilities for Australia in times where supply chain are disrupted, as seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Southern RNA’s design has been informed by the work of its Canadian partner Northern RNA which operates a manufacturing facility in Calgary. Northern RNA is manufacturing a COVID vaccine for local market in Canada and is also exporting its products oversea to clients in the USA, India and other parts of the world.

“Australia is set to become a global hub for mRNA therapeutics product development, with announcements of Moderna, BioNTech and more recently Sanofi all converging down-under. Southern RNA will be integral in supporting the world-class ecosystem that is emerging here, by offering services and raw materials to these leading pharmaceutical companies and Australian Researchers.” Southern RNA’s Head of Operations Garry Heaney said.

“Currently, we are focusing on producing raw materials that enter into the manufacturing of mRNA vaccines (pDNA & Cap Analog). We also have the capabilities to produce purified mRNA to supply within Australia and in nearby regions. At the same time, we will begin constructing a larger Pilot facility that we aim to open in early 2024 with full accreditation from the Therapeutic Goods Administration for GMP manufacturing.”

“We look forward to working with Springfield City Group, who have been innovative and forward-thinking in their efforts to bring this advance manufacturing capability to southeast Queensland.”

Springfield City Group Chairman Maha Sinnathamby AM said Southern RNA’s goals aligned with the founding vision for the city.

“We began Greater Springfield with the goals to enhance human and social capital and this is fundamental to Southern RNA’s approach,” Mr Sinnathamby said.

“BioPark Australia is a 22-hectare innovation space that will bring the best and brightest together to provide solutions for this city and beyond.”

“The ability to create vaccines that will provide sovereign certainty for Australia is a worthy goal as we’ve seen from the pandemic disruption of recent years.”

“Springfield City Group will continue to collaborate with innovative companies that can make use of the opportunities in our expanding Knowledge Precinct.” Southern RNA has global experience in medical innovations, utilising its North American partner to establish a breakthrough facility for Australia.

“Australia needs to establish, onshore, domestic mRNA manufacturing capability to meet the current and future vaccination challenges that emerged during COVID-19,” Mr Heaney said.

“BioPark Australia presents an exciting opportunity to make this happen with world-class production that can benefit the nation.”