The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need to rapidly accelerate clinical trials so that vaccines and treatments can be developed more quickly to prepare for and respond to future pandemics. The Human Infection Challenge (HIC) Clinical Trial Facility will establish and operate a 15-bed facility located at the Royal Melbourne Hospital that will be an extension of the Doherty Institute. The HIC Clinical Trial Facility will conduct HIC clinical trials, where healthy volunteers are deliberately infected with an infectious pathogen to trial novel therapies and vaccines under tightly controlled conditions, enabling the safe and rapid identification and evaluation of new drugs and vaccines, better preparing Australia for future pandemics and positioning Melbourne as a global leader in translational clinical research of infectious diseases. While HIC study for COVID-19 appears unlikely given it is highly pathogenic, this facility will have application for milder seasonal coronaviruses and other respiratory diseases.
- Paul Ramsay Foundation
- University of Melbourne