Medical researchers at the Centenary Institute have focused their efforts to understand how the coronavirus is causing COVID-19 and are launching projects that will investigate a range of potential treatment strategies.
“Since the prospects of conventional antiviral drugs and vaccines are uncertain it is vital to develop other approaches that can prevent severe infection or reduce the long term health impacts resulting from COVID-19. This is our critical focus and attention,” says Professor Mathew Vadas AO, Executive Director at the Centenary Institute.
Professor Vadas believes that the Centenary Institute, a leader in inflammation, respiratory, infectious and cardiovascular disease research, has the unique expertise and facilities required to develop effective treatments for COVID-19, especially for more vulnerable people.
“Our world-leading research teams, together with collaborators from the University of Sydney, UTS, Sydney Local Health District, the Heart Research Institute and the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research are addressing three major areas,” he says.
1. Understanding why the lung is so susceptible to the coronavirus (COVID-19 can induce acute respiratory distress leading to death).
2. Developing methods of understanding with a focus on reversing the devastation that the virus has in susceptible individuals including the elderly, males and those with pre-existing chronic diseases.
3. Developing novel therapies by using non-conventional, state of the art technologies and techniques.
Professor Vadas has confidence that this multi-pronged research program approach will contribute significantly to the reduction of the severity and impact of the disease on patients.
“Until an effective vaccine for COVID-19 is developed, therapeutic treatments are the best hope we have of getting on top of this pandemic, preventing harm and saving lives,” he says.