NSW Ministry of Health

02/25/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/24/2024 16:45

New company established to operate NSW’s world-leading viral vector facility

25 February 2024
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The NSW Government has announced the establishment of a new company to operate the world-leading viral vector manufacturing facility based at Westmead, which will produce groundbreaking and life-saving therapies.

Viral vectors are a key component of many cell and gene therapies, and vaccines, which are increasingly being used to treat cancer, genetic diseases and infections.

Viral vector technology uses viruses that are harmless to humans to carry genetic therapies to the target organs and systems that cause significant human diseases.

Establishing a commercial company with an agile, responsive operating model will provide a strong base for the sustainable, long-term success of the Viral Vector Manufacturing facility.

Stage 1 of the facility is operational for use in gene therapy research with the first clinical trial anticipated to commence in 2025 using vectors from the facility.

The Stage 2 facility is currently under construction and once completed will provide NSW with a commercial-scale viral vector manufacturing facility capable of meeting the growing demand for viral vectors.

Completion of construction works is expected by the end of 2024, with Good Manufacturing Practice certification to follow soon after. The company is to be registered as Viral Vector Manufacturing Facility Pty Ltd. It will manufacture the vectors and supply them to specialised healthcare staff, who will deliver the therapies to patients.

Overall, the NSW Government has committed $134.5 million to establish the Facility and to manufacture viral vector products for research and clinical trials.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Daniel Mookhey:

"NSW is a globally recognised leader in developing and delivering gene therapies, cell therapies and vaccines, and viral vectors are a key part of many of these therapies.

"This is cutting-edge, world class work happening right here in Western Sydney.

"This commercial-scale facility will allow us to meet local manufacturing demand, and further establish us as a respected leader in this field.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Ryan Park:

"My priority as health minister has been to embrace innovative initiatives in improving health outcomes for our community.

"I am so proud that NSW Health is at the forefront of this world leading treatment.

"Today's announcement will have real life changing benefits for people suffering from genetic diseases, cancers and viral infections.

"These therapies are expanding rapidly, targeting more and more genetic diseases, cancer and infections - significantly increasing the number of patients who can and will benefit from viral vectors.

"This expansion in potential applications, treatments and patient benefits is not however matched by current manufacturing capacity, either locally or globally, which is causing a delay in us achieving these benefits."

Quotes attributable to Minister for Medical Research David Harris:

"This will mean researchers have a local viral vector supply for their work, and attract students and researchers from around the world.

"Investing in health precincts like this one is an important part of making sure that research can thrive and is integrated in the wider health ecosystem."

Quotes attributable to Member for Parramatta Donna Davis:

"The facility is an important part of the Westmead Health and Innovation Precinct here in western Sydney.

"I am so proud that Parramatta is home to this facility which is at the cutting edge of medical research and treatment."

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