Additional research funding to fight virus
The federal government is providing $13 million in medical research grants to find treatment options for coronavirus.
Up to 10 antiviral therapies that could fight the virus would be tested as part of a $8 million grant announced by Health Minister Greg Hunt on Saturday.
Another $5 million grant will be offered for clinical trials to treat and manage patients in severe acute respiratory distress because of the COVID-19 strain.
The grants will be funded from the government's $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund which aims to support vital health and medical research.
"Research plays a critical role in ensuring Australia maintains its world-class health system and is particularly important as the world responds to COVID-19," Mr Hunt said.
Applications for the antiviral grant will open next Wednesday, while respiratory grant applications will be accepted from Monday.
Separately, the government is investing more than $2.6 million in four cutting-edge diagnostics research projects at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
"These projects will increase Australia's ability to conduct widespread testing for diagnosis and clearance of the coronavirus," Mr Hunt said.
Research funds have already been provided to Australian researchers developing a potential vaccine to prevent infection, though that could be more than a year away.
Originally published as Additional research funding to fight virus