About the initiative

This initiative funded Australian clinical trials investigating new drugs, devices or treatments for rare diseases or for areas of unmet medical need – this research activity continues as part of the Clinical Trials Activity initiative.

Why it is important

People living with a rare form of cancer or rare disease face problems such as:

  • delays in getting a diagnosis
  • lack of available treatments
  • trouble finding suitable care
  • poor health outcomes after treatments.

Survival rates for rare cancers have not improved in the same way that rates for common cancers have.

We need more research to find new treatments for rare diseases. Other clinical trials will address ‘unmet medical needs’ — serious health conditions where existing diagnosis or treatment options are not working well for patients.


This initiative aimed to:

  • increase the number of clinical trials underway in Australia
  • develop new drugs, devices and treatments for areas of unmet medical need
  • increase opportunities for patients to get involved in a clinical trial
  • make Australia a preferred location for clinical trials.

Who we work with

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) continues to fund this activity through the Clinical Trials Activity initiative.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) administered grants under this initiative.


This initiative has been consolidated into the ongoing MRFF Clinical Trials Activity initiative. 


For more information, contact us.

Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) contact

Contact for more information about the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), or to provide feedback on the MRFF website.

General enquiries:
MRFF [at] health.gov.au
MRFF website or newsletter feedback:
HMRO [at] health.gov.au

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Last updated: 
15 March 2022