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We’re involved in a broad range of activities with government and industry in response to COVID-19, including preclinical testing of potential vaccines, understanding the virus and its mutations, monitoring wastewater, supporting manufacturing of surgical masks, and analysing and sharing trends in data and the impact on health services. This is part of our efforts to future-proof Australia against the impacts of future pandemics, supporting national and global efforts to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from the threat of infectious disease.

Understanding the SARS-CoV-2 virus

The more we know about COVID-19, the better equipped we are to fight the pandemic. From understanding how the virus is mutating to how long it survives, our researchers are working to improve our knowledge of COVID-19 and the virus that causes it.

Our global response

We are working closely within international consortia – The Biosafety Level 4 Zoonotic Laboratory Network (BSL4ZNet) and European Virus Archive - GLOBAL (EVAg) – to share information on activity, best practice and reagents and materials, including SARS CoV-2 viruses. This will ensure we do not compete or duplicate our research and development efforts.

We have established a partnership with the Peter Doherty Institute to test candidate antiviral compounds from international manufacturers. We have represented Australia in a World Health Organisation meeting on COVID-19. We are in dialogue with several international consortia in establishing novel diagnostic capability.

We have received funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global group that aims to speed up the development of vaccines and cut short the COVID-19 pandemic. With this funding, we undertook pre-clinical testing of two candidate vaccines.

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