New US$229 million institute for pandemic therapeutics established in Melbourne

A new A$325 million (US$229 million) center, the Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics, targeting anti-pandemic medicines will be established in Melbourne, Australia; the center will be housed within the newly-established A$650 million (US$457 million) Australian Institute for Infectious Disease, a partnership between the University of Melbourne, the Doherty Institute, and the Burnet Institute. 

In the largest philanthropic donation ever to a medical research facility in Australia, Canadian businessman Jeffrey Cumming committed to providing A$250 million (US$176 million) to enable the rapid development and testing of new therapeutics to combat emerging pandemics. The Victorian State government has also committed A$75 million (US$53 million) to establish the center.

Professor Sharon Lewin, Director of the Cummings Centre, stressed the need for greater innovation in anti-pathogen therapeutics. Investments in therapeutics lagged significantly compared to funding for the development of preventatives like vaccines in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The new center will, therefore, focus on research in developing new therapeutics quickly, including through computational techniques and molecular platforms.

Press release – The Doherty Institute