SA ready to lead COVID-19 vaccine production


South Australia is uniquely placed to play a vital role in expediting the nation’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The state has the capability to produce mRNA vaccines, similar to the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19, within 12 months at a local advanced manufacturing facility. The initiative would be driven by international biotech company BioCina, leveraging the complementary research, technological and clinical trials expertise of the University of Adelaide and SAHMRI.

BioCina CEO Ian Wisenberg says the university and medical research institute’s strengths were a key factor in his company’s recent decision to purchase Pfizer’s biologics manufacturing plant at Thebarton.

“The facility itself is a gem and the people make it shine,” Mr Wisenberg said.

“Research and talent are key to the success of our industry and here we have them right on our doorstep. Many of our colleagues were educated at the University.

“The 4600m2 plant was founded by the University of Adelaide and under the stewardship of Pfizer and Hospira has more than 35 years’ experience with microbial fermentation. It is the most advanced facility of its kind in Australia and the only one approved by the US-FDA.”

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