A fortnight ago we were proud to make a $1 million donation, through Golden Casket unclaimed prize money, to the University of Queensland’s School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences to help accelerate Australian research into a COVID-19 vaccine.

Identifying a safe and effective vaccine is more critical than ever and the donation wouldn’t have been made possible without our Golden Casket players. 

Since the donation was made, we are pleased to share some exciting progress.

Recently, the hardworking Australian team developing the vaccine partnered with an international company to progress to pre-clinical studies. 

There is a clear need for researchers to work together, particularly at this crucial stage of the project, and the team at the University of Queensland are excited to join forces with the world-class Dutch facility, Viroclinics Xplore, to advance the development of a vaccine. 

This partnership, along with the dedication of the researchers here in Australia will help capture critical data that will lead to human clinical trials in Q3 2020. Phase one human trials could take place as early as June. 

The benefits of collaboration are evident, as funding through donations, shared resources between research organisations, and even assistance from global specialised transport services to move test samples between Australia and Europe, all comes together to expedite the project.

The research is promising, and it now seems to be a matter of when, not if, an effective vaccine is developed. 

Professor Paul Young from the University of Queensland’s school of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences is one of the leaders of the vaccine research program and had a special thank you message for the Lott and our players.