Challenge Trials

What are human challenge trials and why are they important?

A human infection challenge trial is a study design that allows researchers to advance the clinical development of potential breakthrough vaccines and therapeutics for infectious diseases, with the aim of making treatments more rapidly available to communities.

Human infection challenge trials involve applying a well-characterised infectious agent in healthy volunteer participants within a controlled environment. The infectious agent is applied either after the volunteer has been vaccinated with the trial study vaccine, or before they have received the treatment in development.

Human infection challenge studies offer unique opportunities during early-phase clinical development of antimicrobials and vaccines. These specialised studies can accelerate key decision making, save millions of dollars and substantially decrease timelines for clinical development.

Doherty Clinical Trials is dedicated to the ethical delivery of high-quality human challenge trials and the safety of our participants.

Human challenge trials are our specialty – we are the only unit in Australia specifically commissioned to deliver human challenge studies.

To read more about how human challenge trials can generate critical scientific insights and accelerate delivery of novel therapeutics and vaccines, download our fact sheet.

What are the advantages of running clinical trials in Australia?

Australia’s medical researchers, clinicians and facilities are among the best in the world. The Australian Government and the medical research community have invested in the people, in leading-edge equipment and infrastructure to deliver high-quality solutions.

Efficient regulatory frameworks are administered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Australia’s ethics process involves submitting research proposals directly to human research ethics committees. As a multicultural country, Australia has a potential pool of diverse participants to meet recruitment needs.

The Australian Government’s Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive encourages more industry investment in R&D. Contact our team – we can direct you to specialists who can help to maximise any R&D tax advantages for your project.

Read more about conducting a clinical trial in Australia.

Our Team

A skills-based board combines comprehensive experience in academic research, financial strategy, commercial development and biotechnology & pharmaceutical industries. Along with the specialised leadership team, this expertise drives Doherty Clinical Trials Ltd unique capabilities.

Dr Andrew Brockway

Chief Executive Officer

Professor James McCarthy

Chief Medical Officer

Chris Kearney

Senior Program Manager

Sally O'Callaghan

Clinical Operations and Nursing Director

Thu-Anh Pham

Quality and Compliance Director

Dr Julia Marshall

Human Infection Challenge Trial Consultant

June 5, 2024
In the Media
Doherty Clinical Trials on The House of Wellness

Highlighting the vital work of Doherty Clinical Trials and sharing why participants find it so rewarding.

November 16, 2023
Doherty Clinical Trials launches the #mRNA Platform Incubator Network

Doherty Clinical Trials launches the #mRNA Platform Incubator Network in collaboration with Moderna and other leading minds in bio-medical research

April 2, 2024
In the Media
In the News - CEO Dr Andrew Brockway interviewed by The Guardian

Delving further into the Doherty Clinical Trials experience and the purposes of human challenge trials, the article is another feature highlighting the company’s launch.

March 25, 2024
Australia's first purpose-built facility to deliver human challenge trials officially launches in Melbourne

Launched by Deputy Premier, The Honourable Ben Carroll MP and Professor Sharon Lewin AO, Director of the Doherty Institute in East Melbourne.

March 27, 2024
In the Media
In the News - Doherty Clinical Trials' CMO and CEO featured in The Age, with Professor Sharon Lewin.

Speaking about the importance of human challenge trials, the article coincides with the launch of Doherty Clinical Trials' facility in East Melbourne.

February 21, 2024
Bullwinkel Scholarship award for DCT's Nursing Director

Our Clinical Operations & Nursing Director receives prestigious Bullwinkel Scholarship award