The Paul Ramsay Foundation in Sydney, Australia, has announced grants totaling AU$9 million ($5.2 million) in support of COVID-19 response efforts.
The awards include up to AU$3.5 million ($2 million) to the University of Queensland for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine as part of a larger AU$23.5 million ($13.6 million) vaccine development effort. The grant is conditioned on UQ raising an additional AU$6.5 million, in addition to AU$10 million and AU$3 million pledged by the government of Queensland government and the national government, respectively.
Other recipients include the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, which will receive up to AU$2 million ($1.16 million) in support of its efforts, in partnership with UQ, to develop a "passive immunization" treatment for the virus involving the injection of antibodies to provide immediate interim protection against infection, with injections to be repeated every two months. Through the institute, the foundation also awarded up to AU$2 million to the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies (APPRISE) in support of effective responses to COVID-19 in high-risk communities, with a focus on isolated Indigenous communities already facing a higher likelihood of poor health outcomes.
The foundation also awarded AU$1.5 million ($869,714) in contingency funding to help existing grantees whose work has been directly impacted by the focus on the virus.
"While the COVID-19 virus has understandably dominated the news and affected lives and livelihoods around the world, we believe our work to assist fire-ravaged and drought-affected communities should continue along with the COVID-19 grants we are announcing today," said Paul Ramsay Foundation CEO Glyn Davis. "Bushfire-affected communities cannot be forgotten. We know that those in regional Australia who were already disadvantaged before the fires, will be doubly so in their aftermath while also dealing with the impact of COVID-19."