Glencore has helped slash the timeframe to a COVID-19 vaccine by providing $725,000 to the University of Queensland for clinical trials.
The project uses technology that ensures the vaccine induces an immune response that recognises and then neutralises the virus.
A phase one clinical trial has begun, involving 120 volunteers being given the first dose of the vaccine at the Brisbane clinic of trials specialist, Nucleus Network.
“The University of Queensland’s research is moving at great speed and, while there is a way to go before the vaccine can be considered a success, we are seeing some encouraging results,” a Glencore spokesperson said.
Co-lead of UQ’s vaccine project, Paul Young said philanthropy had played a critical role in their efforts to fast-track an effective vaccine and help save lives.
“With the support of Glencore, government partners and a community of almost 2600 donors, we have been able to combine clinical readiness with scale-up manufacturing, reducing the timeframe to a vaccine by up to six months,” Young said.
Glencore’s initiative has attracted the Queensland Resources Council’s praises, with chief executive Ian Macfarlane saying the state’s resources sector was one of the first to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“As the COVID-19 situation evolves here and around the world, it will be critical for our industry – like all Australians – to heed the advice from health authorities and do what we can to slow the spread of the virus,” Macfarlane said.
“It is also critical as an industry we continue to devote our full attention to implementing the processes and procedures in accordance with the latest advice.”
Glencore employs around 9230 people across its coal, copper and zinc mining operations.