Bringing Queensland medicine from bench to bedside

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Artist’s impression of the planned TRI translational fabrication facility.

Additional funding of $35.5 million will support a local vaccine manufacturing industry in Queensland through the Institute for Translational Research.

According to Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Cameron Dick, the Queensland Government’s new investment will contribute three-quarters of the $80 million needed for the TRI Translational Manufacturing Facility.

“COVID-19 has taught us many lessons, but one of the most important was the need for Queensland to have as much of our own sovereign manufacturing capacity as possible,” he said. “This is especially true when it comes to the production of vaccines and other medical treatments.

“The Translational Research Institute’s Translational Manufacturing Facility ([email protected]) would give researchers and biomedical companies in Queensland the ability to more easily achieve the production quantities they need for clinical trials. This is one of the key steps in moving new medical treatments from the bench to the bedside.

Funding for the 2022-23 budget builds on last year’s initial announcement under the $3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund.

“Queensland researchers have been behind some of the most important medical breakthroughs we’ve seen,” he said. “Look no further than Professor Ian Frazer of TRI and the lives he has changed around the world with Gardasil. Our government has recognized the importance of ensuring that Queensland ideas and know-how are transformed into commercial products in Queensland. That’s why we’ve backed Vaxxas, another TRI success story, to make sure their manufacturing facility will be here and not abroad.

“Building on Queensland’s strengths, from early-stage research to our internationally recognized clinical trial capabilities, [email protected] will support Queensland’s growing pipeline of start-ups. We provide an avenue for the pipeline of innovative biomedical products in development to be manufactured locally, retaining local companies and talent and attracting new companies looking to establish themselves in the Asia-Pacific region.

TRI CEO Professor Scott Bell said the funding would see the plant become a reality.

“Last year the Queensland government announced $20 million for this facility,” he said. “It has put us a striking distance away from building Queensland’s first agile, multifunctional, large-scale manufacturing plant capable of producing a wide range of vaccines and medical products.

“With today’s announcement, this facility is now fully funded. The state government is strengthening Queensland’s sovereign manufacturing capabilities, and in particular our ability to develop new vaccines and medical treatments locally.

TRI estimates the facility could support up to 500 industry jobs over 10 years and provide hands-on training in cleanroom processes and advanced manufacturing to build a ready-to-use biomedical workforce. Jobs for Queensland’s Future.

Supported by the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and the Mater Medical Research Institute, it is a leading example of university, government and industry working together to make medical technology innovation a reality.

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