Investing in using mRNA technology to treat cancer

Published: 18 July 2023

Victorian researchers are applying mRNA technology to unlock new cancer treatments.

With a $1 million investment from the mRNA Victoria Research Acceleration Fund, research teams at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre will apply mRNA technology to develop new treatments for hard-to-treat cancers like prostate, bowel and breast cancer.

The researchers will use their mRNA expertise to develop new medicines that could prevent cancer cells from growing, and apply cutting edge mRNA biology methods to help the immune system detect and attack cancer cells.

These projects are part of 16 projects who will share $2.7 million in grants from round two of the mRNA Victoria Research Acceleration Fund.

In addition to new mRNA-based cancer treatments, funded projects are researching new mRNA treatments to address a range of diseases and health conditions, including tuberculosis, malaria and Parkinson’s disease.

Grant recipients include research teams from Victoria’s world-leading medical research institutes, such as Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, and the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

Best known for the successful mRNA-based vaccines for COVID-19 developed by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, messenger RNA (mRNA) technology is the next frontier in medical research. Scientists believe mRNA will be the foundation for new treatments for cancer, respiratory illnesses and infectious disease.

Victoria is leading the development of mRNA technology in Australia. Since its establishment in 2021, mRNA Victoria has supported 42 research projects with a total of $27 million in funding.

For more information, visit mRNA Victoria.