Macquarie Group Foundation commits $1 million to the AustralaSian COVID-19 Trial

The AustralaSian COVID-19 Trial (ASCOT) has received a significant funding commitment of $1 million from the Macquarie Group Foundation.

ASCOT is a clinical trial aimed at testing the effectiveness and safety of two existing drugs – lopinavir/ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine – in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 in Australia and New Zealand.

As a ‘new disease’ there are currently no treatments with established effectiveness for COVID-19. However, there are multiple treatment options, and combinations, that may be effective.

ASCOT is an adaptive trial, which means it can be stopped if one of the treatments provides enough evidence it will work, or drop any treatment that looks like it will not work before the trial would typically finish. In addition, as evidence is generated from other trials around the world about other promising treatments, ASCOT is able to seamlessly introduce these new treatments into the study.

ASCOT Principal Investigator, Associate Professor Steven Tong, Royal Melbourne Hospital infectious diseases clinician and co-lead of clinical research at the Doherty Institute thanked the Macquarie Group Foundation for its generous support.

“This funding commitment will assist us significantly with the rapid implementation of ASCOT, which will help in the validation of an effective treatment pathway for COVID-19,” said Associate Professor Tong.

Lisa George, Global Head of the Macquarie Group Foundation, said: “In the absence of a vaccine, the search for effective treatments means that we must leave no stone unturned. We are pleased to support the Doherty Institute and the experienced and dedicated team of scientists behind this adaptive clinical trial.”