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COVID-19: New funding for clinical trials

A media release about the Australian Government providing $25 million for health and medical researchers to find breakthroughs in preventing and treating COVID-19.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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Media release
General public

The Australian Government is providing $25 million for our best and brightest health and medical researchers to find breakthroughs in preventing and treating COVID-19.

Research is a key weapon in the fight against COVID-19 – and this funding will help to ensure that Australian researchers are on the frontline of the fight.

The Government will provide funding for new COVID-19-specific clinical trials involving high quality research into the virus. Funding for this research will be made available through the Government’s landmark Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) under the Clinical Trials Activity initiative.

This initiative has a focus on addressing areas of health burden and unmet medical need – and, unequivocally, the COVID-19 pandemic represents an area of unmet medical need for all Australians.

It poses a significant and urgent threat to global health. It is a debilitating, life-threatening health condition, with, so far, no satisfactory options for prevention, diagnosis, early detection or treatment.

Providing funding for research into a disease such as COVID-19 is precisely why the Government established the MRFF. It allows for rapid funding of critical research to support and protect the Australian community.

These MRFF grants will fund crucial clinical trials to investigate effective mechanisms for the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19 or its symptoms. Such mechanisms can then be translated into policy or practice.

Australia is contributing significantly to vaccine development work both in Australia and around the world, investing $333 million in vaccines, therapeutics and COVID medicines - including $256 million in vaccines.

The Government has also released Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Strategy, guided by a group of medical and industry experts.

The Strategy sets out Australia’s approach to acquire doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines based on:

1.         Research and development

2.         Purchase and manufacturing

3.         International partnerships

4.         Regulation and safety Immunisation administration and monitoring

More information is available on:

Applications for funding are now open and will close on 23 September 2020. Research will be conducted over three years and is expected to commence from early 2021.

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