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Sanofi to set up global vaccine hub in Qld

Sanofi will develop vaccines in Queensland after choosing the state to be its third major global hub after Lyon in France and the US state of Massachusetts.

December 5, 2022
By Marty Silk
5 December 2022

French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi will develop mRNA vaccines in Queensland after inking a $280 million deal to make the state its new Asia-Pacific hub.

The company will start researching, developing and testing vaccines using facilities at the Queensland government’s Translational Research Institute, the University of Queensland and Griffith University in early 2023.

The Sunshine State is the third global Sanofi hub after Lyon in France and Cambridge in the US state of Massachusetts.

Sanofi’s head of vaccine research and development Jean-Francois Toussaint says Queensland has the right mix of expertise and facilities to become a major biomedical hub. 

“We decided to come here because the ecosystem is already extremely strong,” he told reporters in Brisbane on Monday.

“We have a lot of very talented scientists and we want to work together to deliver great science, but we will also come in here in Queensland because of the vision of the government of Queensland, the vision of the University, working together with the patient to make Queensland a global biomedical hub.”

Mr Toussaint said Sanofi would share its expertise in antigen design, immunology, mRNA science, protein science, clinical research, regulatory science and vaccine commercialisation with local researchers in Queensland.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the deal, which will cost the state at least $17 million, will allow vaccines to be developed, tested and manufactured in Queensland.

“We know you could have gone just about anywhere in the Asia Pacific and we are really proud that you’ve chosen our state and Brisbane. We know it’s a big decision,” he said.

“But this is the beginning of a partnership that I think will go on for decades. We’ll see that partnership grow, we’ll see researchers attracted here, we’ll see people finish their PhDs researching the cures of the future here in Brisbane.” 

The new hub’s first project will be developing a world-first chlamydia vaccine, but Sanofi is also working on jabs for the flu, Respiratory Syncytial Virus and acne.

“Chlamydia is a very severe disease as you know, it’s a disease that is causing pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and also leads to adverse pregnancy outcomes with very serious disease, and we are on it together in this partnership,” Ms Toussaint added.

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