NSW seeks partners to upscale bio-tech facility at Westmead

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NSW will leverage its world-class cell and gene therapy expertise to establish Australia’s first commercial-scale viral vector manufacturing facility at Westmead.

Premier Dominic Perrottet, Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Minister for Jobs, Investment, and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the NSW Government is now seeking partners to co-invest.

“New South Wales has led the nation investing over $120 million to expand its advanced biomanufacturing footprint, including $25 million to develop our viral vector capability,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Upscaling the 25 litre viral vector pilot facility at Westmead Health and Innovation District to 550 litres, will help address the global demand in gene and cell therapies.

“Most importantly, expanding the capacity of the facility will ensure Australians have faster access to next generation medical treatments that will save and improve lives.”

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Viral vector technology delivers genetic material into cells and has been in use since the 1970s. The planned viral vector manufacturing facility in NSW will provide ground-breaking trial therapies for infections, cancer and genetic diseases.

Mr Hazzard said the NSW Government will be seeking interest from companies with commercial and bio-technology expertise to co-invest in the Westmead-based facility.

“With gene therapies and COVID-19 vaccines straining global manufacturing capacity in recent years, viral vector manufacturing services are in high demand worldwide,” Mr Hazzard said.

“In Australia alone, we have two million people living with a genetic disease. Local production will ensure we can run more research trials and increase treatment options.”

Mr Ayres said the facility will manufacture high-quality clinical grade viral vectors and will serve the Australian, broader Asia-Pacific and global markets.

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“The gene therapy and cell therapy sectors are experiencing phenomenal growth and upscaling our viral vector manufacturing will keep NSW at the forefront of this industry,” Mr Ayres said.

“Westmead Health and Innovation District is a recognised hub for innovative research and this facility will boost jobs for NSW and provide access to new groundbreaking therapies and treatments.”

Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology Alister Henskens said the NSW Government was committed to fostering world-class medical research.

“NSW is leading the nation in this space and we want to harness our cutting-edge research and development and continue to create an innovative, diversified and globally competitive economy,” Mr Henskens said.

Expressions of Interest for co-investment have commenced. To register your interest contact HI-Commercial@health.nsw.gov.au or visit hinfra.health.nsw.gov.au/commercial.