Construction underway on nation-first needle-free vaccine facility
12 December 2021
Construction at Northshore, Brisbane, has started on a new facility for Queensland biotechnology company Vaxxas to enable continued research and development as well as manufacture of its needle-free vaccine technology.
Visiting the site, Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles said the facility heralds in a new chapter of vaccine development and delivery for the nation and globally.
“Hansen Yuncken was awarded the contract to refurbish an existing warehouse here at Northshore, which will create more than 80 construction jobs,” Mr Miles said.
“Once construction is finished in early 2023, Vaxxas expects to eventually manufacture enough needle-free vaccine kits to deliver 300 million doses each year at full capacity.
“Over the next 10 years, this rate of production is expected to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the Queensland economy.
“Vaxxas will employ up to 110 high-skilled biomedical experts when operating in early 2023.
“This could then grow to more than 139 new jobs over five years, which is just fantastic news as we Unite and Recover for Queensland jobs.”
Vaxxas Chief Operations and Development Officer Angus Forster said Vaxxas’ high density micro-array patch (HD-MAP) technology can deposit a vaccine through the surface of the skin in just a few seconds.
“Our world-leading technology uses a small patch with a surface of thousands of micro-projections, just a quarter of a millimetre long, which are coated with a vaccine,” Mr Forster said.
“Our clinical research shows that this elicits a more efficient and effective immune response than traditional syringes due to the abundance of immune cells immediately below the surface of the skin.”
“There’s also the opportunity to make the transportation of vaccines to rural and remote communities much easier as the vaccine patch can be stored at temperatures as high as 40ºC.”
“Our first project for the patch will be on delivering an influenza vaccine, but Vaxxas will also investigate opportunities to improve the performance of other vaccines, including for COVID-19, to support future pandemic preparedness and response.”
“We are pleased to be able to continue our work here in Brisbane and commend the Queensland Government for its investment in building Australia’s local manufacturing capacity and job prospects,” he said.
Mr Miles said this home-grown technology has the potential to play an important role in future pandemics because it allows vaccines to be quickly and easily deployed to people – even via post.
“Supporting local biomedical companies scale-up and grow is good for Queensland and good for the world,” he said.
“That’s why Economic Development Queensland worked with Vaxxas to progress design and approvals for the facility.
“I am privileged to lead a department where its various arms work hand in hand to grow the state’s economy.
“This is yet another milestone in the Northshore Priority Development Area’s transformation.
“Northshore has long been a hub for innovation and business such as Prohelion and Universal Field Robots, as well as precincts such as Portside, Brisbane Technology Park, Eat Street Markets, and some of Brisbane’s best waterfront living.
“Now it will be home to a national-first needle-free vaccine manufacturing facility.”
The Vaxxas project aligns with the Government’s Queensland Biomedical 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan to make Queensland a globally competitive Asia-Pacific biomedical hub by 2027.