The federal government has appointed some of its most senior advisers on vaccines and medicines, as well as industry executives, to its new advisory group on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
The prime minister recently announced the formation of the COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments for Australia - Science and Industry Technical Advisory Group. It is chaired by Department of Health secretary Professor Brendan Murphy and recently met for the first time.
Its terms of reference are to support the government in making decisions on the range of issues related to the purchase and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
The group's deputy chair is acting Commonwealth chief medical officer, Professor Paul Kelly. It also includes PBAC chair Professor Andrew Wilson and the co-chairs of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, Associate Professor Chris Blyth and Professor Allen Cheng.
It also includes CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall, Australia's chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel, Dr Felicia Pradera of Medical Countermeasures Development and MTPConnect chair Sue MacLeman.
“I’m honoured to be appointed to this Advisory Group as we come together to further respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the health of Australians,” said Ms MacLeman.
“The MTP sector is on the front line for research, diagnosis, management, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and has a critical role to play in driving Australia’s COVID-19 response.
“There is an enormous opportunity for the Australian medical research community and our advanced manufacturing sector to be involved in the delivery of vaccines and treatments."
The group also includes members with direct experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including former AbbVie managing director Kirsten O'Doherty, ex-Gilead Australia boss Rob Hetherington, the founder and managing director of Medicines Development, Mark Sullivan, and experienced CSL vaccine manufacturing executive John Anderson.