Baker McKenzie confirms role in guiding new mRNA facility at La Trobe University

The firm advised a division of the Victorian government

Baker McKenzie confirms role in guiding new mRNA facility at La Trobe University

Baker McKenzie has advised mRNA Victoria, a division of the Victorian Government’s Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions, on the delivery of a state-of-the-art mRNA clinical-scale manufacturing facility at La Trobe University's Melbourne campus in Bundoora.

According to Victoria Premier Jacinta Allan, German biotechnology company BioNTech is set to produce next-generation mRNA vaccines and treatments for clinical trials and research-grade RNA materials through the facility. This builds on an in-principle agreement reached with BioNTech last year.

Under the agreement, BioNTech AI subsidiary InstaDeep will set up its Australian headquarters in Victoria. The capability will serve as a complement to La Trobe University’s Centre for AI in Medical Innovation, an aspect of the project that will be supported by the government.

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In addition, the agreement includes the delivery of BioNTech’s clinical cancer trial program.

“This partnership means more mRNA expertise in our state, more treatments for people with hard-to-treat cancers – and 1,200 more local jobs,” said Allan in a press release by La Trobe University.

Baker McKenzie lead partner Matt Coleman added that the agreement “secures the development of mRNA expertise in Victoria, creating treatment options for infectious diseases and hard-to-treat cancers that until now have not been available in Australia”.

Coleman co-led the firm’s team with partners Toby Patten, Dora Stilianos, Liam Hickey, and Charlie Detmold. The team included Max Dowzer-Strode, Alex Hewitt, and Ben Adams.

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