Victorian scientists have created Australia’s first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine with clinical trials due to begin next year.
The vaccine was created in Melbourne within five months by Monash University researchers, pharmaceutical manufacturer IDT Australia and the Doherty Institute.
About 450 doses have been produced at the Boronia site, enabling 150 people to take part in phase one clinical trials, with results expected later in 2022.
Equipment was shipped from Canada to help create the vaccine, with a machine processing nanoparticles into final liquid drug form.
“This is an Australian first that confirms Victoria as a leader in mRNA therapeutics and manufacturing – it is an incredible achievement to have made an mRNA vaccine candidate that is ready for clinical trials,” Innovation Minister Jaala Pulford said.
“We’re serious about developing our mRNA manufacturing capacity and doing it quickly as we can, because it will save lives.”
Victoria had another 918 COVID-19 infections and six deaths on Tuesday.
The state is managing 11,417 active COVID-19 cases.
There are 305 COVID patients in the state’s hospitals, 41 of them are actively infected with the virus in intensive care and 19 requiring ventilation.
The seven-day hospitalisation average is 298.
Virus testers processed 45,658 results on Monday, while 3726 people were vaccinated against COVID-19 in state-run hubs.
There’s now 91 per cent of Victorians aged over 12 fully vaccinated.