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RNA Production and Research Network

The RNA Production and Research Network enables scientists to have access to the required materials to translate newly developed RNA therapeutics from the bench to advanced pre-clinical studies.

The RNA Production and Research Network (NSW-RPRN) is providing the RNA research community with required materials, services and support to translate newly developed RNA therapeutics from the bench to advanced pre-clinical studies.

NSW-RPRN supports production linked to therapeutic research and is building capacity and capability in NSW as a prerequisite to downstream Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).

In doing so, the NSW-RPRN is enhancing the growth of the expert workforce required for the advanced biomanufacturing industry, a key priority of the NSW Government.

The NSW-RPRN has three pillars: Production, Pilot Research and Services & Support.

The RNA Production and Research Network program logic

The Production Pillar

The Production Pillar consists of interlinked pilot production units for mRNA, nucleotide & lipid precursors, synthetic RNAs and lipid nanoparticles. Combined, we produce high-quality short RNA, mRNA, and lipid nanoparticles, predominantly for pre-clinical evaluation.

Expertise Project lead & institution
Nucleotides/Lipids Richard Payne, University of Sydney

Christopher McErlean, University of Sydney

Synthetic RNA Albert Fahrenbach, UNSW Sydney

Pall Thordarson, UNSW Sydney

DNA Plasmid Christopher Marquis, UNSW Sydney/Recombinant Products Facility
mRNA Scott Cohen, CMRI Westmead

Christopher Marquis, UNSW Sydney/Recombinant Products Facility

Lipid Nanoparticles Joshua McCarroll, Children’s Cancer Institute/UNSW Sydney

Maria Kavallaris,

Children’s Cancer Institute/UNSW Sydney

Pall Thordarson, UNSW Sydney

 

The Pilot Research Pillar

The Pilot Research Pillar consists of three pilot research projects that will build on existing research excellence within the NSW-RPRN. Combining this with the capabilities from Production Pillar will expedite research towards clinical translation. The three pilot research projects are:

  • siRNA loaded lipid nanoparticles to treat SARS-CoV-2
  • mRNA/siRNA nanoparticle delivery systems for the respiratory tract
  • Hybrid mRNA-viral vector delivery to treat genetic disease.
Expertise Project lead & institution 
siRNA Delivery Anthony Kelleher, Kirby Institute/UNSW Sydney

Chantelle Ahlenstiel, Kirby Institute/UNSW Sydney

Joshua McCarroll, Children’s Cancer Institute/UNSW Sydney

Maria Kavallaris, Children’s Cancer Institute/UNSW Sydney

Philip Hansbro, Centenary Institute/ University of Technology Sydney

Lung Delivery Daniela Traini, Woolcock Institute/Macquarie University

Anthony Kelleher, Kirby Institute/UNSW Sydney

Pall Thordarson, UNSW Sydney

Philip Hansbro, Centenary Institute/University of Technology Sydney

mRNA/Viral Vector Delivery Ian Alexander, CMRI Westmead

Leszek Lisowski, CMRI Westmead

Samantha Ginn, CMRI Westmead

Scott Cohen, CMRI Westmead

Maria Kavallaris, Children’s Cancer Institute/UNSW Sydney

 

The Services & Support Pillar

The Services & Support Pillar provides access to a network of world-class service facilities in genomics, proteomics, high-throughput screening, SARS-CoV-2 PC3 laboratory and animal testing and training facilities for both Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and /GMP manufacturing.

Expertise Project lead & institution
Sequencing, Genomics Helena Mangs, Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics/UNSW Sydney

Vitali Sintchenko, Westmead Institute of Medical Research/University of Sydney

Rebecca Rockett, Westmead Institute of Medical Research/University of Sydney

PC3 lab for SARS-Cov-2 Stuart Turville, Kirby Institute/UNSW Sydney

Philip Hansbro, Centenary Institute/University of Technology Sydney

Proteomics Nicolle Packer, APAF/ Macquarie University

Belinda Schiller, APAF/ Macquarie University

High-throughput tests Thomas Preiss, ACTD/Australian National University

Amee George, ACTD/Australian National University

Training, GLP/GMP/Clinical Support Andrew Groth, Biologics Innovation Facility/ University of Technology Sydney

Christopher Marquis, UNSW Sydney/Recombinant Products Facility

Anthony Kelleher, Kirby Institute/UNSW Sydney

Tony Cunningham, Westmead Institute of Medical Research/University of Sydney

John Rasko, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital/Centenary Institute/University of Sydney

Sharon Sagnella, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital/Centenary Institute/University of Sydney

 

External Advisory Committee

The NSW-RPRN has formed an external advisory group with representatives from Industry, Government, Universities and research organisations across the globe, including:

Partner institutions and key contacts

The NSW-RPRN has launched collaboration between the following research institutions and universities throughout NSW and ACT.

Future growth and collaborations

The NSW-RPRN will actively engage with the broader research community, with a focus on those involved in RNA or medical research related to key application areas for RNA therapeutics such as vaccines, gene therapies and cancer. This includes collaborations with other NSW Office for Health and Medical Research supported activities and experts such as:

  • Vaccine, Infection and Immunology (VIIM) Collaborative Research Group
  • Cell & Molecular Therapies at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
  • Westmead Research Hub Cell and the clinical cell therapies service at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR)

The NSW-RPRN will also work collaboratively with the whole NSW RNA community of practice through the NSW RNA Bioscience Alliance.

Locally and federally, we will seek to work with the TGA as it develops its capabilities to work with the emerging RNA ecosystem in Australia.

At the Federal level, several of the organisations involved in the NSW-RPRN are part of or receive some support from National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).  Facilities such as Bioplatforms Australia (BPA) and Therapeutic Innovation Australia (TIA) are organisations that the NSW-RPRN intends to work closely with. The Australian Vaccine Response Alliance (AVRA) is another organisation that the NSW-RPRN sees as a priority collaborative partner. The national RNA R&D supporting network(s) that are likely to emerge from the Federal government’s recent “Approach to Market” call for population-scale mRNA vaccine manufacturing will be another avenue for NSW-RPRN to reach out to and work with as the national RNA ecosystem evolves.

The NSW-RPRN acknowledges the funding provided by NSW Health and the NSW Office of Health and Medical Research.

Contact us

Email: RPRN@unsw.edu.au

Postal address:

UNSW RNA Institute

c/o School of Chemistry

Dalton Building F12, L1

Gate 2, High Street

KENSINGTON NSW 2033

About the Network

The NSW RNA Production Research Network (NSW-RPRN) was formed in 2021 to establish an RNA-based therapeutics industry in NSW. With support and funding from NSW Health through the NSW Office for Health and Medical Research, the NSW-RPRN brings together major universities and research institutions across NSW and the ACT including:

  • University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney
  • University of Technology Sydney
  • Macquarie University
  • University of Sydney
  • Australian National University
  • Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI)
  • Kirby Institute, UNSW
  • Woolcock Institute of Medical Research
  • Westmead Institute of Medical Research
  • Children’s Cancer Institute
  • Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

The NSW-RPRN is coordinated by Professor Pall Thordarson (UNSW Sydney) and is closely aligned with the RNA Institute – Faculty of Science | UNSW Sydney and Accelerator, and draws on extensive expertise across NSW and ACT.

Updated 4 months ago