RNA Accelerator

Vials of blood

The RNA Accelerator is the core facility within the UNSW RNA Institute and the NSW RNA Production Research Network (NSW-RPRN).

It is the institute’s nucleus, designed to expedite the discovery, manufacture and – crucially – pre-clinical trials of RNA-based therapeutics and other products. The Accelerator will supply high-quality RNA and nanoparticle formulations under ISO-9001/GLP conditions for pre-clinical studies. 

Supported by UNSW and the NSW Office for Health and Medical Research, the Accelerator is primed for action with three pilot projects within the NSW-RPRN:  

  1. Messenger RNA (mRNA) delivery pilot project  
  2. Better RNA nanoparticle delivery systems for the respiratory tract  
  3. Synthetic RNA (siRNA) therapeutics for treating SARS-CoV-2. 


The UNSW RNA Accelerator facility consist of four main units for the production of:  

  • mRNA (by in vitro enzymatic transcription) 
  • synthetic RNA (including siRNA, aptamers and guide RNA) 
  • DNA plasmids (a precursor for mRNA production) 
  • a lipid nanoparticle formulation suite.  

Each of these units will have scale-up capabilities and will be equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for the production/synthesis, purification and quality control (analysis) of all materials. The facility, once fully operational, will be staffed by 8-10 professional officers and will be seeking GLP and ISO 9001 certification.