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.


mRNA Victoria's Research Acceleration Fund Round 3

Round 3 of mRNA Victoria's Research Acceleration Fund is now open for applications.

Grants of up to $500,000 are available to eligible research projects For information and to apply, please visit the Business Victoria website: mRNA Victoria Research Acceleration Fund Round 3.

Successful recipient mRNA Victoria Research Acceleration Fund Round 2

Round 2 recipients were announced in June 2023, with $2,747,426 of funding shared across 16 projects.

Leading Institution

Project Partner

Total Funds

Project Title

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity


Using lipid nanoparticles to deliver novel combination RNA therapeutics for pulmonary bacterial infections

University of Melbourne

Children’s Cancer Institute Australia


Building predictive power to fast-track the evaluation and prioritisation of nanocarriers for therapeutic RNA delivery in brain cancer

University of Melbourne

Denteric Pty Ltd


Development of an mRNA vaccine for a human bacterial pathogen Porphyromonas gingivalis involved in Periodontitis and Alzheimer's Disease.

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research

Monash University


The use of mRNA therapy for blood cell cancers

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Monash University


mRNA-encoded nanobody therapy against COVID-19

University of Melbourne

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


A mRNA vaccine for preventing liver-stage malaria

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research

The Royal Children's Hospital


RNA delivery of therapeutic gene editing to blood stem cells

Monash University

Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory, Trinity College Dublin


A modular platform for the development of mRNA-based epigenetic drugs: a pilot.

Peter Maccalum Cancer InstituteWalter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research$500,000Development of nuclear mRNA targeting therapeutics to treat cancer
Peter Maccalum Cancer InstituteStorm Therapeutics Ltd$500,000Therapeutically targeting mRNA methylation to enhance anti-tumour immunity
Murdoch Children's Research InstituteKorea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)$99,471Development of a novel ASO-based therapeutic for TRAPPC4-related disorder
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical ResearchMermaid Bio Pty Ltd$100,000Harnessing mRNA delivery for intracellular antibody therapies
Hudson Institute of Medical ResearchHudson Institute of Medical Research$100,000ASO against SRY as a potential therapeutic for Male Parkinson's Disease
Hudson Institute of Medical ResearchSilence Therapeutics$100,000Modulation of Iron Overload in the Myelodysplastic Syndromes using siRNA therapy
Monash UniversityPTNG Biologicals$100,000Structure-based antigen design as a novel strategy for precision mRNA vaccines.
Monash UniversityEnsign (CHINA) Medical Teck. Co Ltd.$100,000Cardiac-homing Lipid Nanoparticles for Relaxin-2 mRNA Delivery

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: 1 November 2023