Australia is one step closer to being able to manufacture mRNA vaccines, thanks to a new $1 million NanoAssemblr machine from Canada.

Victoria’s Minister for Employment, Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy, Jaala Pulford, confirmed that with clinical trials of Australia’s first mRNA COVID vaccine scheduled to start in the coming months, a crucial piece of technology has just arrived in the state that’s needed to manufacture them.

The Victorian Government has successfully acquired a $1 million NanoAssemblr machine from Canada. According to them, it will allow IDT Australia to create the final product for mRNA vaccines, which could be used in COVID vaccines, to treat cancer patients and people suffering from the flu, as well as lead to a proposed experimental HIV vaccine.

In a press release, the Victorian Government said the machine “can process nanoparticles into final liquid drug form, sterilize the product and fill vials with mRNA vaccines. “The new piece of gear will first manufacture over 150 doses for phase 1 of the clinical trials but has the potential to give us a huge boost in reaching the national target of 70% fully vaccinated.

In a statement, Minister Pulford said:

“Victoria leads the nation in mRNA expertise with universities, research institutes and industry working together to accelerate local mRNA development and manufacturing. We’ve acted swiftly to establish mRNA Victoria and committed $50 million to grow mRNA capability here, and we’re already making great progress.”

Monash University Professor of Pharmaceutical Biology, Colin Poulton added:

“This machinery will allow us to work with IDT Australia to produce our second-generation COVID-19 vaccine in preparation for Phase 1 clinical trials, which will be conducted through our partnership with the Doherty Institute.”

The Victorian Government has offered $5 million to support the clinical trials, which will be run by the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and begin in October 2021. Preliminary results are expected to be released in the first half of 2022.