mRNA Victoria

mRNA Victoria is responsible for establishing a mRNA and RNA industry in Victoria. This includes supporting:

  • supply chain
  • research and development for pre and clinical research
  • commercialisation
  • manufacturing investments.

Its role is to identify key capabilities, gaps and opportunities and to lead the Victorian Government’s engagement, investment and partnerships.

mRNA Victoria’s Scientific Advisory Group

mRNA Victoria is advised by a Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) made up of world-leading experts from the medical research sector. The SAG works in consultation with mRNA Victoria, supporting the development of the mRNA ecosystem and research in Victoria.

The members of the group are:

  • Dr Amanda Caples - Victoria’s Lead Scientist and Chair of the Group
  • Professor Sharon Lewin - Director, Doherty Institute
  • Dr Barney Graham - Deputy Director, Vaccine Research Center, US National Institutes of Health
  • Professor William Charman - Sir John Monash Distinguished Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University
  • Professor Brendan Crabb - Director, Burnet Institute
  • Professor Doug Hilton - Director, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
  • Professor Terry Nolan - Head, Vaccine and Immunisation Research Group, Doherty Institute at University of Melbourne, and MCRI
  • Professor John Carroll - Director, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
  • Professor Andrew Steer - Director, Infection and Immunity, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Professor Ricky Johnstone - Head, Gene Regulation Laboratory, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Dr Minna-Liisa Änkö - Head, Functional RNAomics laboratory, Hudson Institute of Medical Research.

Victoria's mRNA ecosystem

Victoria is home to CSL, the second largest influenza vaccine manufacturer in the world. 70 per cent of the top 25 Australian medtech and pharma companies are based in Victoria. Nearly 60 per cent of Australia’s pharmaceutical exports are from Victoria.

Victoria’s life sciences professionals number more than 100,000 with the majority of the nation’s pharmaceutical life sciences professionals living in Victoria.

Victoria leads Australia in clinical trial capability, with the greatest number of trials underway of any state.

In May 2021, Victoria committed $400 million to establish the Australian Institute for Infectious Diseases, to be located beside the Doherty Institute, the first place in the world outside of China to decipher the genetic code for COVID-19.

Victoria is also home to the Australian Government’s Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness operated by the CSIRO, and the Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases.


There are no current grants open.

Successful recipient mRNA Victoria Research Acceleration Fund Round 1

Round 1 mVRAF recipients were announced in June 2022, supporting 12 projects with almost $2 million in funding.

Leading Institution

Project Partner

Total Funds

Project Title

Monash University

Alfred Health


Development of a lipopeptide-based nanoparticle RNA delivery system for the treatment of muscular dystrophy or acquired musculoskeletal conditions

The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Swinburne University of Technology


A new mRNA-exosome gene therapy for Niemann-Pick Disease Type C1

University of Melbourne

Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute


mRNA-based antiviral therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2 using Cas13

RAGE Biotech

Monash University


Accelerating the development of an inhaled RNA therapeutic for the management of chronic lung disease.

The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Monash University


Developing an mRNA vaccine for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute

Monash University


Anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic mRNA therapeutics: Potential game-changers for the therapy of cardiovascular diseases

St Vincent's Institute

Monash University


Reversing autoimmune diabetes with mRNA therapy

Hudson Institute

Pharmorage Pty Limited


Development of RNA based therapeutics for the management of TLR7-driven autoimmunity

RMIT University

Austin Hospital

$ 99,687

Novel mRNA therapeutic strategies for reprogramming tumour associated macrophages in lung cancer

RMIT University

Royal Melbourne Hospital


Developing novel mRNA vaccines for high-risk groups

Monash University

Ensign (CHINA) Medical Teck. Co Ltd.


A novel mRNA-based therapy for chronic kidney injury treatment

Monash University

Children’s Medical Research Institute


Combining mRNA delivery with viral gene delivery to treat metabolic liver disease in infants and children using in vivo gene editing

Successful Recipients mRNA Victoria Activation Program Round 1

Round 1 mAP recipients were announced in October 2022.


Funds Received

Project Title

Burnet Institute


Burnet Institute Vaccine Initiative: mRNA vaccines to tackle global pandemic pathogens that provide broad immunity.

Hudson Institute


Re-defining the RNA that activates innate immune sensors to produce safer and more effective RNA therapies

Messenger Bio Pty Ltd


High-throughput Automation and Scale-up of Preclinical mRNA Manufacturing and Expansion of the RNA Engineering Toolbox

Monash University


RaRtech: a novel and rapid mRNA manufacturing technology for pandemics preparedness and therapeutics.

Monash University


A universal platform for affinity purification of RNA

Monash University


Novel enzymes to transform the manufacturing of mRNA in Victoria.

University of Melbourne


mRNA BEATs technology to enhance CAR T cell therapy of cancer

University of Melbourne


Developing a novel RNA therapeutic for chronic hepatitis B

University of Melbourne


Leveraging mRNA technology to improve adoptive cell therapy for cancer

University of Melbourne, The Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology


Sequence-Specific Silencing of Oncogenic Drivers with Personalized Cas13 RNA Therapeutics

Victorian mRNA Innovation Hub (VMIH)


VMIH is a world-first collaboration between Monash University, the University of Melbourne, Doherty Institute and Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences to develop next-generation vaccines and therapeutics to treat a range of diseases.

Contact mRNA Victoria

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Page last updated: 22 March 2023