Demand booms for experimental mRNA from UQ BASE

A University of Queensland team has become the biggest supplier of experimental mRNA vaccines and therapies in Australia, with burgeoning demand from research and industry across the country. 

The BASE facility is producing mRNA at UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology for pre-clinical research on vaccines, cancers and autoimmune diseases. 

Director Associate Professor Tim Mercer said demand for BASE’s products had rapidly escalated since it was established, with the scientific community keen to explore ways to use the revolutionary mRNA platform. 

Associate Professor Tim Mercer. Image: The University of Queensland

“We are now at the epicentre for mRNA production in Australia, providing access to high-quality mRNA at the scale needed to support early research and pre-clinical studies,” Dr Mercer said. 

“Our team started out with 3 researchers about 18 months ago, and is likely to grow to about 40 people this time next year – all producing a new generation of mRNA vaccines and treatments. 

“We’ve built more than 50 experimental vaccines and therapies, supplying mRNA to 34 labs at UQ alone.”