Queensland boosts investment in biotech manufacturing
Queensland has made two strategic investments in Brisbane-based biotech and manufacturing companies Ellume and Luina Bio, a move set to create 870 operational jobs, and even more in construction.
In a statement, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government was investing in job-creating projects.
“In the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic we’re investing in local manufacturing which is critical for our economic recovery and creating jobs,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Commenting on the investment in Ellume, Premier Palaszczuk said this will introduce advanced manufacturing processes to speed up and enhance production capability of a rapid COVID-19 test which delivers a result within 15 minutes.
In a separate statement, Ellume CEO and founder Dr Sean Parsons warmly welcomed the State Government’s commitment to local manufacturing.
“Our technology is world class and the State Government’s investment boost will mean we can take our ground-breaking COVID-19 tests to the world,” Dr Parsons said.
To meet anticipated demand, Ellume will use the grant to expand its current manufacturing facility in Brisbane, already the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The project is expected to support over 500 jobs when fully operational, with up to an additional 200 jobs created during construction.
The investment will enable Ellume to onshore and upscale as much of the critical component manufacturing back into Queensland as is practicable.
Currently, Ellume is on track to produce 100,000 tests per day from next month, and over 250,000 tests per day by March 2021. The company is also planning to manufacture and deliver in excess of 20 million Ellume COVID-19 tests within the first half of 2021.
Funding will also go to Brisbane-based bio-pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company Luina Bio.
According to Luina Bio CEO Les Tillack, the expanded $40 million facility, which will incorporate up to five bio-processing production lines in parallel, will also include commercial scale sterile fill and finish capabilities, which has been identified as a national supply chain gap.
“The support from the Queensland Government enables us to expand capability and fill these supply chain gaps,” he said.
Apart from expanding the Luina Bio’s current manufacturing capacity, Premier Palaszczuk said the grant will also increase the company’s workforce by up to 378 jobs over the next five years.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles said the two investments importantly will create hundreds of jobs.
“Throughout 2020, we have all become acutely aware of how important it is to manufacture goods in Queensland, and how critical it is to have a ready supply and capability to locally produce our own PPE and other related goods,” he said.
The grants are made through the State Government’s $50 million Essential Goods and Supply Chain program which is dedicated to aid Queensland manufacturers in making essential goods such as personal protective equipment, health consumables and devices.