$25 million gene and cell therapy facility coming to the Westmead Health Precinct

A birds-eye-view of the Westmead Health Precinct.

A $25 million NSW Government facility will give patients with genetic diseases, cancers and viral infections across Australia faster access to ground-breaking trial therapies.

Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres and Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee today announced the NSW Government is investing $25 million to build an advanced viral vector manufacturing facility at the Westmead Health Precinct.

“A global shortage in manufacture of viral vectors and plasmids – key components of gene and cell therapies – has led to a two year wait worldwide,” Mr Hazzard said.

An aerial view of the Westmead Health Precinct.

“This facility will produce clinical grade viral vectors on our home ground, significantly cutting waiting times for patients across Australia to give them the best health outcomes.”

NSW Health’s Western Sydney Local Health District and Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network have partnered with the University of Sydney to establish the facility.

Mr Ayres said the Westmead Health Precinct is one of the largest health, education, research and training precincts in Australia and a key provider of jobs for the greater Parramatta and Western Sydney region.

“The NSW Government will seek to unlock the opportunities within the Westmead Health and Innovation Precinct in order to grow sectors and industries, like gene and cell therapies, which have the potential to attract a significant number of jobs, spur innovation and help to save lives and cure diseases.”

Front of the new hospital building with artwork under the ceiling of the exterior (image of night skies)
The new facility will compliment the new Westmead Hospital building set to open in October 2020 – also part of the Westmead Health Precinct.

Mr Lee said the manufacturing facility is not only a tremendous boost for Parramatta but will reinforce NSW’s position as a global leader in developing gene and cell therapies.

“Parramatta will proudly house the manufacturing hub for new treatments for diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy, the leading genetic cause of infant death in Australia,” Mr Lee said.

In 2019-20, the NSW Government is investing $108 million in medical and scientific innovation, including further support for researchers in this area.