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Queensland innovations: leading the fight against COVID-19

COVID-19 Centre

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.

Articles

Vaccine

QIMR COVID-19 research progress updates
QIMR Berghofer, 1 Nov 2020.
Professor Andreas Suhrbier has overseen the repurposing of our high biosecurity (PC3) laboratory to handle and experiment on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
CSL signs agreement with Australian Government for UQ vaccine supply
UQ and CSL, 7 Sep 2020.
Global biotech company CSL Limited will supply the Australian Government with 51 million doses of The University of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate if it proves successful, under a heads of agreement announced today.
UQ vaccine scientists report positive results from pre-clinical testing
UQ, 26 Aug 2020.
Pre-clinical testing of The University of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine has produced positive indications about its potential effectiveness and manufacturability.
Queensland companies to lead the way in on-shore COVID-19 vaccine manufacture
LSQ, 20 Aug 2020.
Queensland biomanufacturing companies Luina Bio and Thermo Fisher Scientific are well positioned to fill the gap in Australia’s on-shore COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution capabilities, eliminating the nation’s reliance on foreign providers when a vaccine candidate becomes available.
COVID-19 vaccine trial begins at USC
USC, 19 Aug 2020.
USC Clinical Trials is bringing COVID-19 vaccine research, previously only available in Australia’s major cities, to the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay.
Dosing begins in the first human trial of UQ’s COVID-19 vaccine
UQ, 13 July 2020.
The next critical phase for The University of Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine is underway – with the research effort moving out of the lab and into human trials.
UQ and CEPI partner with CSL to advance COVID-19 vaccine
UQ, 5 June 2020.
A landmark partnership will help to accelerate the future development, manufacture and distribution of a University of Queensland COVID-19 vaccine.
UQ congratulates vaccine delivery spinout on global deals
UQ, 1 June 2020.
A spinout company developing technology based on innovative University of Queensland research has announced two partnerships that could revolutionise the manufacture and delivery of vaccines.

Treatment

Bound by infection: identifying how COVID-19 interacts with cells
UQ, 21 Oct 2020.
Two international studies have shed light on why the virus that causes COVID-19  is so infectious compared to other SARS viruses.
Funding allows researchers to uncover the secrets of COVID-19 immunity
UQ, 12 Oct 2020.
Federal funding will help a team of researchers determine how long immunity lasts in people who’ve recovered from COVID-19, critical information as the world waits for a vaccine.
QUT and Oxford researchers collaborate on new COVID-19 asthma drug trial
QUT, 6 July 2020.
QUT researchers are collaborating with colleagues at the University of Oxford on a UK clinical trial to test common asthma inhalers as a treatment for COVID-19 infection.
New approaches to a COVID-19 treatment
Griffith University, 17 June 2020.
Australian research into the use of convalescent plasma in clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 should be supported according to a leading immunologist from Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics.
Gene silencing technology to target COVID-19
Griffith University, 2 June 2020.
Using gene-silencing technology to turn off respiratory virus genes, Griffith University researchers aim to identify new and repurpose antiviral drug treatments targeting COVID-19.

Testing

New COVID-19 test could identify infectious patients in real time
Microbio, 22 Oct 2020.
Microbio Pty Ltd, an Australian biotech company, has developed a new type of COVID-19 test that has the potential to determine not only if someone has the virus but could also indicate whether they are infectious.
Ellume enlists Bosch Australia to automate manufacturing for high-performance COVID-19 test
Ellume, 22 Oct 2020.
Bosch Australia’s Manufacturing Solutions Division (BAMS), a leading supplier of factory automation for the medical device industry, announced today that digital diagnostics company, Ellume, would introduce BAMS technology to automate the high volume production of its COVID-19 diagnostic tests.
Ellume awarded US$30m from US National Institutes of Health RADx
Ellume, 7 Oct 2020.
Ellume, a leader in rapid digital diagnostics, today announced it was successfully awarded US$30million from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative to accelerate the clinical testing and manufacturing scale-up of the company’s COVID-19 antigen tests.
Simple supermarket ingredient behind innovative Australian COVID test
XING Technologies, 30 Sept 2020.
An everyday ingredient available in Coles and Woolworths is behind an innovative COVID-19 test in Australia that can offer results in just minutes. The research is being conducted by XING Technologies, a Brisbane laboratory, and is as simple as taking a nasal swab.
Ellume announces global partnership with OIAGEN for COVID-19 diagnosis
Ellume Ltd, 25 Aug 2020.
Digital diagnostics firm Ellume Ltd has extended its strategic partnership with leading global life sciences and diagnostics company, Qiagen NV with a high-performance COVID antibody test on the QIAGEN Access platform.
Luina Bio And XING Technologies Set To Manufacture New And Fast SARS-CoV-2 Diagnostic Kit
Luina Bio and XING Technologies, 13 July 2020.
Luina Bio is pleased to announce they have been selected to partner with XING Technologies to co-develop and manufacture a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 diagnostic kit.

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.

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.

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: New funding for clinical trials
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.

Remote Work Burnout
Fingerprint For Success

Washing your hands
Certified Nursing Assistants.

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.