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New Australian mRNA network to accelerate scientific excellence in clinical translation to advance mRNA medicines

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Moderna, Inc. has announced the launch of the mRNA Platform Incubator Network, a pioneering initiative in collaboration with key Australian organisations with specialist expertise in translational and pharmaceutical science, early-phase clinical trials and regulatory science.

The mRNA Platform Incubator Network aims to advance mRNA medicine, foster scientific excellence in clinical translation in Australia and further the therapeutic potential of the mRNA platform.

The Platform Incubator Network brings together Australia’s leading minds in mRNA research from Monash University and Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity – a joint venture of The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Murdoch Research Children’s Institute and Doherty Clinical Trials Limited.

Moderna’s Regional Research Centre in Melbourne will serve as a hub for the Platform Incubator Network enabling regular cross-functional collaboration, exploration and execution of translational research projects, contributing new insights to the broader scientific and regulatory community through publications and discussions and supporting development of the next generation of researchers.

Examples of how the Network intends to pool its collective knowledge include the development of scientific strategies to overcome specific clinical platform challenges and oversee operational implementation of these strategies through non-clinical and computational quantitative pharmacology investigations, as well as translational clinical trials, led from Australia.

“Moderna is deeply committed to fostering Australia’s mRNA R&D ecosystem. The launch of the mRNA Platform Incubator Network is a testament to this commitment and to Australia as an emerging leader in mRNA research,” said Dr Craig Rayner, Director of Moderna’s Regional Research Centre for Respiratory Medicines and Tropical Diseases.

“The Incubator Network will catalyse needed advancements in the mRNA clinical pharmacology and translational knowledge base to further unlock the therapeutic potential of the mRNA platform and will help position Australia as leaders in mRNA clinical translation. We’re excited to contribute to the growth of this vibrant scientific community and look forward to the groundbreaking innovations our collaboration will bring,” said Uli Frevert, MD, Head of Translational Clinical Trials, Moderna USA.

The Platform Incubator Network follows the launch of the Monash-Moderna mRNA Quantitative Pharmacology Accelerator (MMQPA) earlier this year. The program, a partnership between Moderna and Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, represents the inaugural Accelerator established under Moderna’s Regional Research Centre and will focus on using quantitative pharmacology to accelerate mRNA medicines development.

Monash University’s Professor Chris Porter, Director of MIPS said “MIPS is delighted to be part of this new initiative. mRNA holds enormous potential as a therapeutic platform but remains a relatively new technology where there is much to learn. By bringing together national leaders in translation and mRNA science from academia, industry and clinical evaluation, the Incubator Network is an important step towards realising the potential of mRNA therapeutics.”

These initiatives follow on from the establishment of a landmark partnership between the Australian Government, Victorian Government and Moderna to establish sovereign capability and capacity for mRNA respiratory vaccine manufacturing and supply in Melbourne for pandemic and non-pandemic pathogens. This partnership will benefit patients, create highly skilled jobs, and bring significant investment to Australia.

The Network was formally announced at the AusBiotech Conference 2023 in Brisbane, Australia on Thursday.

This press release was originally published by Moderna Australia. To learn more, visit

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