Aurizon donates $250,000 to University of Queensland to fast-track development of COVID-19 vaccine
Australia’s largest rail transport company, Aurizon has provided a $250,000 donation towards the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by the University of Queensland (UQ) using its breakthrough Molecular Clamp technology.
The work is being done with research partners – the Doherty Institute and the CSIRO – and aimed at fast tracking a vaccine for the virus. UQ is the only Australian organisation tasked by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop a vaccine against COVID-19.
Aurizon’s funding will help the University bring on extra researchers, equipment and resources and to expand partnerships with other globally-recognised institutions on this important work. It is part of UQ’s drive for extra support from the Australian business community to supplement more than $19 million in public and private funds raised to date.
The UQ work aims to cut the timeline for an effective, safe vaccine by six months, with human clinical trials expected to commence in Q3 2020.
“We know that an effective response to slowing the spread of COVID-19 requires a co-ordinated response from governments, business, communities and individuals,” said Aurizon Managing Director & CEO Andrew Harding.
“Aurizon is pleased to support our community through contributing funding to this critically-important research work that holds the key to a longer-term solution for us all,” he said.
UQ has an extraordinary track record having previously developed the Gardasil vaccine for prevention of cervical cancer. Hopefully another success here for the UQ research team with a COVID-19 vaccine will save many lives. It will also support an exit path for the global economy to progressively re-start activity.
University of Queensland Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Advancement), Ms Jennifer Karlson has passed on the University’s thanks to Aurizon and its employees. “The generosity of Aurizon will help our research team in their efforts to reduce the timeline for an effective vaccine for COVID-19 by six months. We are incredibly grateful for this gift and remain hopeful that together we can help limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Ms Karlson.
Aurizon is committed to playing its part in safely and reliably delivering essential rail services to Australia’s freight and resources sectors. Aurizon has implemented a range of proactive and practical measures to protect the health and safety of employees as well as provide business continuity to our customers.
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