More grants for participation in international clinical trials

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The federal government has announced $5 million to allow Australian researchers and patients to participate in three international clinical trials of new treatments.

The funding will allow collaboration with trials based in New Zealand, Canada, the US and UK.

The trials are investigating potential new treatments for suspected septic shock in children, advanced colorectal cancer and venous thromboembolism (blood clots).

The Australian participation in these trials is being funded under the Medical Research Future Fund’s (MRFF) International Clinical Trials Collaboration grant opportunity.

The funding will support Australian research teams to establish and co-ordinate clinical trial sites and recruit patients within Australia.

The grants include more than $3 million to Professor Franz Babl of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute for a trial of balanced versus normal saline fluid treatment in children with sepsis.

Professor Babl’s team will join researchers in New Zealand, the US and Canada, enrolling 8,800 children to provide the evidence necessary to change clinical practice worldwide.

Almost $1 million will be provided to Professor Timothy Price of the University of Sydney for a trial of the use of the drug avelumab after standard adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with stage 3 colorectal cancer.

Dr Vivien Chen of the University of Sydney will receive more than $1 million to join a Canadian trial of two new treatments for venous thromboembolism (VTE).

The federal government said it is providing a total of $117.6 million over ten years from the MRFF for International Clinical Trials Collaboration grants from 2018-19.