Victoria’s medical researchers are making significant strides in the battle against coronavirus, with the Victorian Government providing support for projects on multiple fronts.
The state government has invested more than $14.7 million in 17 projects dedicated to fighting coronavirus and being conducted by our state’s renowned medical research institutes and universities.
This work has already resulted in a consortium led by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, one of our leading research institutes, using antibodies to prevent coronavirus from infecting human cells under laboratory conditions.
While still in the early stages, this breakthrough has the potential to influence antibody-based therapies, a key alternative until a successful vaccine is secured – and vital for those Victorians for whom a vaccination may not be possible due to age or ill health.
In another Victorian success story – a group based at Monash University has developed the National COVID-19 Clinical Guidelines, which is saving lives and helping patients with coronavirus to recover more quickly by connecting doctors with the best and most up-to-date advice and treatments.
This work builds on more than five years of Victorian-led innovation in Living Evidence, which uses a suite of new technologies to translate the latest in research into evidence-based guidelines and practices.
More than 100,000 clinicians, both here and around the world, are using Australia’s National COVID-19 Clinical Guidelines, covering all aspects of treatment including primary and acute care as well as care in special populations such as older people, pregnant women and adolescents.
More than 30 medical organisations – with the Royal Australian College of Surgeons the latest to join – contribute to this dynamic log of treatment intelligence.
Other projects are improving our understanding of how the virus is transmitted, investigating its long-term impacts on the body and investigating the repurposing of existing drugs for treatment. Many are yielding important results and building the knowledge and clinical expertise that will help us to defeat this virus.
The Government has a long history of investment in medical research. In addition to the funds assigned to coronavirus-related research in the past six months, the Government has allocated more than $47 million to the advancement of other life-saving medical research.
Victoria is home to 12 independent medical research institutes that employ more than 4,800 people. The state’s wider medical research sector supports more than 30,000 jobs across institutes, universities and industry.