PERTH ( – Mining major BHP is continuing its battle against the Covid-i9 pandemic, pledging A$3-million to the prevention and treatment of the virus through support for two research institutions based in Australia.

BHP on Wednesday said that its Foundation would provide A$2-million to support the University of Queensland (UQ) to develop a potential vaccine currently in clinical development.

It is one of eight promising vaccine candidates globally currently supported by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations’s (CEPI’s) rapid response programme, with potential to be manufactured at scale and made available around the world including to Australians and people in low and middle-income countries.

The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne will receive A$1-million from the Foundation for its Australasian Covid-19 Trial (ASCOT).

This clinical trial will test the effectiveness and safety of potential Covid-19 treatment drugs in patients hospitalised with the virus, in the hope that this will prevent them deteriorating to the point of needing a ventilator in the intensive care unit.

BHP Foundation CEO James Ensor said the devastating global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic requires a collective response from governments, businesses and the global philanthropic sector.

“As a global community we have to come together. We all have a responsibility to play our part in finding solutions.

“Ultimately there are only two solution pathways: life-saving treatment for people infected by Covid-19 and the development of a vaccine to prevent more Covid-19 infections.”

“Around the world research teams are working tirelessly on both treatment and vaccine. They are some of the unsung heroes in this pandemic.

“With an estimated 40-million lives potentially at risk, there is no sustainable Plan B in the absence of solutions, the BHP Foundation is determined to play our part and support their efforts.”

Source: Mining Weekly