Baker McKenzie has successfully advised mRNA Victoria, a division of the Government of Victoria’s Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions, to deliver a state-of-the-art mRNA clinical-scale manufacturing facility at La Trobe University's Melbourne campus in Bundoora.

Building on an in-principle agreement reached with BioNTech last year, Premier of Victoria, the Honourable Jacinta Allan announced that the German biotechnology company’s mRNA facility will produce next generation mRNA vaccines and treatments for clinical trials as well as research-grade RNA materials, enabling local researchers and biotechnology companies to access BioNTech’s world-leading expertise in developing immunotherapies.

"The agreement secures the development of mRNA expertise in Victoria, creating treatment options for infectious diseases and hard-to-treat cancers that until now have not been available in Australia," said Baker McKenzie partner, Matt Coleman.

Included in the agreement with the Government of Victoria is delivery of BioNTech’s clinical cancer trial program, which will involve the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center and other leading Victorian hospitals to deliver precision oncology therapies for hard-to-treat cancers for up to 4,000 Australians over the next 10 years.

The agreement will also see BioNTech’s artificial intelligence (AI) subsidiary InstaDeep, which is leading the development of an AI-driven early warning system for potential pandemics, establish its Australian head office in Victoria.

The BioNTech and InstaDeep AI capability will complement La Trobe University’s Centre for AI in Medical Innovation, which will be established as part of the project with support from the Victorian Government.

BioNTech will also locate its Australian head office in Melbourne, and establish an Innovation Centre in Melbourne's world-class biotech Parkville hub.

This recent matter builds on Baker McKenzie's work last year with the Government of Victoria on the establishment of Moderna's mRNA manufacturing facility at Monash University, and was a further opportunity to showcase the firm's market leading healthcare and life science expertise. 

Matt Coleman co-led this matter for mRNA Victoria with Baker McKenzie partners Toby Patten, Dora Stilianos, Liam Hickey and Charlie Detmold, and a team including Max Dowzer-Strode, Alex Hewitt and Ben Adams.   
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