‘The time is now’ for Australia to harness new vaccine technology

The area of mRNA technology is still new and involves injecting recipients with genetic material — “messenger RNA” with the viral protein, in turn training the body to fight the virus without exposing it to the real thing.

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It has to date shown the most promising option to fight COVID-19, with Pfizer’s vaccine and that of US biotech Moderna so far proving to be the most effective options in the market.

With the UQ vaccine shelved and the Astra Zeneca vaccine still working towards regulatory approval, industry experts and investors are urging Australia to come up with a national plan to manufacture these new vaccines and other therapeutics designed using mRNA technology.

Monash University Professor Colin Pouton, who has been working on an mRNA COVID vaccine project in Melbourne, says the scene is set for investment, but success won’t be simple.

“The time is now,” he says. “We really should be trying to develop companies…

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