US biology company Ginkgo Bioworks has announced it establish an office in Melbourne under a partnership with the Victorian government aimed at building the state's mRNA capability.
The Boston headquartered company has developed a cell engineering platform and played a key role in the COVID-19 response and global biosecurity efforts. It partnered with Moderna and Aldevron to apply its cell engineering capability to optimise the production of raw materials for making mRNA vaccines.
The company has also established one of the largest nationwide COVID testing platforms in the US and an Airport Biosurveillance Program in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The high-growth company said it has identified Victoria as a strong base for research into pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, mRNA development and biosecurity, presenting enormous potential for local R&D collaborations and improving the productivity of local industry through access to new technologies.
“Melbourne is one of the leading biomedical research communities in the world. We have to forge international collaborations like this because, as we have all learned, biology doesn’t respect borders. We are incredibly excited to work with mRNA Victoria and hope to expand into the Australian market,” said Ginkgo Bioworks chief commercial officer Matt McKnight.
“We value the Victorian Government’s deep commitment to the mRNA ecosystem and related emerging technologies. With this support, Australia presents Ginkgo with a unique opportunity to bring our biosecurity and vaccine expertise to bear as we seek to detect, intercept, and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemic events.”
Victoria's innovation minister& Jaala Pulford added, “The establishment of GinkgoBioworks’ office in Melbourne demonstrates that Victoria is the home of scientific and research expertise in mRNA.
“This will provide access for local companies to access their cutting-edge technologies for the development of mRNA vaccines and other significant benefits to biosecurity and related industries.”