Date published: 
15 December 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Morrison Government will provide more than $5 million to allow Australian researchers and patients to take part in three international clinical trials of new, lifesaving treatments.

The funding will allow collaboration with trials based in New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

They will examine the benefits of new treatments for suspected septic shock in children, advanced colorectal cancer, and venous thromboembolism (blood clots).

Clinical trials guide the development of new drugs, devices, therapies and models of care, and allow patients to access the most recent, innovative treatments.

Australian participation in these trials will be funded under the Medical Research Future Fund’s (MRFF) International Clinical Trials Collaboration grant opportunity. The funding will support Australian research teams to establish and co-ordinate clinical trial sites and recruit patients within Australia.

Details of the grants are:

  • More than $3 million to Professor Franz Babl of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute for a trial of balanced versus normal saline fluid treatment in children with sepsis.
    • Sepsis is a life-threatening organ failure affecting around 4 million children annually.
    • Professor Babl’s team will join researchers in New Zealand, the US and Canada, enrolling 8,800 children to provide the evidence necessary to change clinical practice worldwide and in turn save thousands of children’s lives.
       
  • More than $981,300 to Professor Timothy Price of the University of Sydney for a trial of the use of the drug Avelumab after standard adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage 3 colorectal cancer.
    • Colorectal cancer (CRC) is Australia’s third most common cancer with more than 16,000 people diagnosed each year.
    • Treatment and survival rates for stage 3 CRC have not improved since 2005.
    • This clinical trial, initiated in the UK, provides an opportunity for Australian patients who have completed chemotherapy to access Avelumab, which is otherwise not routinely available.
       
  • More than $1 million to Dr Vivien Chen of the University of Sydney to join a Canadian trial of two new treatments for venous thromboembolism (VTE).
    • Current treatment for patients with VTE is one of two oral anticoagulants, Apixaban or Rivaroxaban.
    • This clinical trial will compare the safety from bleeding risk of these two drugs, providing high quality evidence to guide doctors and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Outcomes will have global impact and improve the health of thousands of Australians. 

These grants are part of the Morrison Government’s record investments in health and medical research, which are providing our brilliant researchers with unprecedented opportunities.

This means faster discoveries and faster translation of breakthroughs into clinical practice, bringing new hope and better outcomes to Australian patients.

A total of $117.6 million over ten years is being provided from the MRFF for International Clinical Trials Collaboration grants from 2018-19.

This is a perpetually open grant opportunity, so new trials can be brought quickly to Australia – the next trials funded through this program mid-2020.

Ministers: