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Queensland innovations: leading the fight against COVID-19

Pandemic Preparedness – Call out for collaboration

While we are all facing adversity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the life sciences industry is in a unique position to make a difference and address some of the challenges being presented. We are encouraging collaboration between industry organisations and stakeholders regarding your respective capabilities as we address issues in areas such as safety gear, ICU equipment, treatments, vaccines and diagnostics.

Specifically, we are seeking your feedback. What are you doing to address these challenges? What barriers are you currently facing?  What more could you be doing if you had assistance in a certain area? Do you have facilities, equipment or services that are not being utilised but could be beneficial to others with different capabilities?

If there is anything LSQ or our other members can do to help your organisation address these challenges, please contact us.

Pandemic Readiness and Response Team – Join today

LSQ is convening a Pandemic Readiness and Response Team to explore what LSQ members are already doing to address the challenges of COVID-19, ask what else we could be doing and work together to make it happen. Members of the team already include supporters from Griffith University, Immune Express, Implicit Bioscience, MinterEllison, Patheon, Queensland Government, Queensland University of Technology and University of Queensland.

If you would like to join this team, please contact LSQ CEO Clare Blain.

COVID-19 Information Hub

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented landscape around the world. The Queensland life sciences industry is at the forefront with continuing progress throughout the State on testing kits, treatments, vaccines and a cure.

Life Sciences Queensland Limited (LSQ) are working together with our members to support the global fight against COVID-19. As the pandemic continues to evolve day to day, LSQ has compiled this regularly updated page to act as your guide to the pandemic and how Queensland is leading the fight against this devastating virus.

If your organisation has anything to add to this page or can help in any further way, please contact us.

Governor of Queensland sends thanks

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Patron of LSQ has congratulated LSQ for its role in providing the platform for life sciences industry organisations and key stakeholders to connect and help solve some of the current problems facing the world. Its response initiatives reflect a well-administered organisation, with an abiding commitment to the health and prosperity of our communities.

He further thanked those members organisations working with energy and pace to overcome the effects of coronavirus. Acknowledging that some are searching for vaccines and treatment, while others are developing new tests and equipment to keep frontline workers and the community safe. He stated his admiration for their work is immense. Including that their skills and expertise bring great credit to our State and will be vital to our economic recovery.

Read the full message here.

Articles

Vaccine

UQ COVID-19 vaccine shown to induce potent protective response in pre-clinical trials
UQ, 29 Apr 2020.
The University of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine has passed another important milestone, showing the ability to raise high levels of antibodies that can neutralise the virus in early pre-clinical testing.
Griffith University researchers on the road to COVID-19 vaccine
Griffith University, 23 Apr 2020.
Griffith University researchers have joined forces with scientists from Indian Immunologicals Limited (IIL), a leading vaccines manufacturing company based in Hyderabad, India to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.
Hospitals begin testing drugs in COVID-19 clinical trial
UQ, 21 Apr 2020.
Queensland hospitals have started testing two potential treatments on patients with COVID-19 as part of an international clinical trial involving The University of Queensland.
International partnership progresses UQ COVID-19 vaccine project
UQ, 9 Apr 2020.
The University of Queensland’s potential COVID-19 vaccine is entering an important new phase of testing with the live coronavirus to determine how effectively it induces protection against coronavirus infection.
Institute for Glycomics researchers tackle COVID-19
Griffith University, 7 Apr 2020.
Four teams of expert scientists from Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics are targeting the virus SARS-CoV-2 to discover new vaccines and drugs to prevent or cure COVID-19.
CSIRO begins testing Covid-19 vaccines
CSIRO, 2 Apr 2020.
CSIRO, has commenced the first stage of testing potential vaccines for COVID-19. The testing, expected to take three months, is underway at CSIRO’s high-containment biosecurity facility, the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong.
Griffith signs MoU with Bio manufacturer to assist COVID-19 vaccine development
Griffith University, 19 Mar 2020.
Griffith University and Queensland-based Luina Bio has announced they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) targeting the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.

Treatment

COVID-19: could saliva tests replace nasal swabs?
UQ, 20 May 2020.
Saliva could be humanity’s best friend in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, University of Queensland researchers have found.
Queenslanders needed to help find potential COVID-19 immunotherapy treatment
QIMR, 14 May 2020.
QIMR Berghofer scientists are urging Queenslanders who have recovered from COVID-19 to help them discover how the human immune system fights the disease – and hopefully develop immunotherapies to treat very sick patients.
Global study of ICU data to guide COVID-19 treatments
UQ, 13 May 2020.
Queensland researchers are leading a worldwide clinical study using AI to examine COVID-19 patient data from 300 intensive care units (ICU) to provide insight for health professionals to determine the best treatments for the disease.
Scientists to trial rheumatoid arthritis drug in ICU patients with COVID-19
QIMR, 9 May 2020.
Queensland researchers are preparing to begin a clinical trial of a drug that regulates inflammation in the hope it may help save the lives of critically ill patients with COVID-19.
National team of experts join forces to boost ventilator stocks
QUT, 25 Apr 2020.
A team of clinical and engineering experts across Australia have joined forces on the OzVader Ventilator project – a new Intermittent Mandatory Ventilator (IMV) design which could be used to treat ICU patients locally and globally.
COVID-19 drug lead treatments identified
UQ, 9 Apr 2020.
An international team of researchers has tested more than 10,000 compounds to identify six drug candidates that may help treat COVID-19.
Griffith 3D print experts create PPE for frontline workers
Griffith University, 7 Apr 2020.
Griffith’s expertise and 3D printers are being used to help manufacture essential protective equipment for frontline health workers across Australia.
Zucero Therapeutics to investigate anti-viral properties of ZU545 against COVID-19
Zucero Therapeutics Limited, 25 Mar 2020.
The current COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having around the world affects us all. While we are only a small company, we will do all that we can to help address the COVID-19 threat.

General Commentary

COVID-19 recovery can benefit biodiversity
Griffith University, 25 May 2020.
Griffith University researchers have outlined in Science how the COVID-19 pandemic provides governments across the globe with an opportunity to correct our environmental trajectory and deliver a shot in the arm for biodiversity.
Open access science brings COVID-19 research success
QUT, 18 May 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen scientists around the world openly and rapidly share their research findings to colleagues around the world to build knowledge on the deadly virus and avoid duplication and ‘blind alleys’.
Wesley Medical Research launches COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Centre to inform patient treatment now
Wesley Medical Research, 28 April 2020.
The world is rapidly changing every day during this global health crisis, but questions to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19 remain unanswered. The launch of a new collaborative virtual research centre seeks to fast-track answers.
Coronavirus claims checked by experts
UQ, 18 Mar 2020.
Herd immunity is not part of the Australian strategy for controlling the outbreak. On social media there are many people calling for stronger and faster government responses, including “shutting everything down.”

Avoiding Exposure

Australian researchers trace sewage for early warning COVID-19 spread
UQ, 16 Apr 2020.
Australian researchers have achieved the first step in developing an early warning surveillance system to track COVID-19 prevalence in the community through tracing the presence of the novel coronavirus gene in raw sewage.
New mask material can remove virus-size nanoparticles
QUT, 15 Apr 2020.
Scientists around the world are scrambling to adapt their research to find solutions to the many problems raised by the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the world, not the least being a face mask shortage.

Resources

Business Guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business assistance finder
Queensland Government.

Coronavirus information and support for business
Australian Government.

COVID-19 and pandemic planning: How companies should respond
EY Global.

COVID-19: Guidance on clinical trials for institutions, HRECs, researchers and sponsors
Australian Government.

COVID-19: how to build supply chains resilient to disruption
EY Global.

COVID-19 Implications. Insights. Impact.
MinterEllison

COVID-19: Recommendations and considerations for you and your business
McCullough Robertson.

Manufacturer’s Supply Matching Request form
Queensland Government.

Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success
LinkedIn.

Financial Assistance

$130 billion jobkeeper payment to keep Australians in a job
Australian Government.

COVID-19 Update on JobKeeper – 24 April
Regional Development Australia.

Market diversification and resilience grants
Queensland Government.

NHMRC Funding
NHMRC.

Novel coronavirus small business support
Business Queensland, Queensland Government.

Pipeline Accelerator COVID-19 Rapid Response
Therapeutic Innovation Australia. Applications close 5 June.

Queensland COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans
Queensland Government.

General Advice

Coronavirus Australia App. iOS App | Android App
Australian Government.

Coronavirus Resource Center
DLA Piper.

COVIDSafe App. iOS App | Android App

Health Advice

Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources
Australian Government.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic
World Health Organization.

Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak
Beyond Blue.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) health advice 
Queensland Government.

Road to Recovery

Planning tool to help businesses reopen and be COVIDSafe
Australian Government.

Roadmap to recovery – and beyond for small businesses
Deloitte.

Queensland Roadmap to Easing Restrictions
Queensland Goverment.

Travel Advice

COVID-19 (Coronavirus​) and the Australian border
Department of Home Affairs.

Queensland border restrictions
Queensland Government.

Upcoming webinars

The Road to a Vaccine
Johnson and Johnson, live every Tuesday.

Financial Resilience Webinars: In Response to COVID-19
TAFE Queensland, various dates in April and May.

Interpreting JobKeeper stimulus rules and how it applies to your business
Grant Thornton Australia. Although this event has passed you can still request the recording via the above link.

Eight Steps Startups Should Take to Survive the Coronavirus Crisis
Drive Capital.