Agreements reached between biotechnology company Moderna, the Australian federal government and Victoria government in 10-year partnership could pave the way to the local manufacture of mRNA vaccines.

In a statement issued by the office of Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, the agreements will mean that an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility will be built at Monash University. Moderna will set up its regional headquarters and a regional research centre in Victoria.

Once the facility is set up it is expected to produce up to 100 million vaccine doses a year. It will help reduce Australia’s vulnerability to supply disruptions and delays.

“It will give Australians local and ongoing access to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine – Spikevax – and give us an onshore mRNA manufacturing capability in the event of a new pandemic, such as avian influenza or another new pathogen, vaccine-resistant COVID-19 variants or a global resurgence of infections,” said the Victorian Premier in a statement.

“The partnership will lead to a world-class mRNA ecosystem based in Melbourne, attract highly skilled staff and expand local capability through joint ventures with leading Australian research organisations.”

“This agreement means that Victoria will be home to Moderna’s only mRNA manufacturing and finishing centre in the Southern Hemisphere,” Mr Andrews said. He added it would also strengthen the state’s position as a national leader in medical manufacture.

Federal Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “The pandemic has shown us how important local manufacturing capability is to our security and to our health. This significant deal will protect Australians and Australian sovereignty.”

Moderna’s General Manager Australia and New Zealand, Michael Azrak told media: “We look forward to being a part of the Monash Clayton precinct and contributing to the R&D ecosystem in Melbourne and across Australia.”