Media Release | RBWH Foundation

Media Release


Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) researchers are leading a study formed through an international alliance between medical researchers, Gina Rinehart and hospitals to test a ‘multi therapy’ for COVID-19.

The trial, called The ALLIANCE COVID-19 trial, will be the first in the world to test a multiple combination of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, zinc, the antibiotic azithromycin and high-dose intravenous vitamin C.

Heparin, or an anticoagulant suitable for each patient, will also be recommended for treating Doctors to include after medical tests, unless contra indicated.

RBWH clinicians Jeff Lipman, Jason Roberts, Michael Reade and Kevin Laupland, will lead the international study alongside international colleagues Associate Professor Julia Garcia-Diaz (USA) and Doctor Oral Oncul (Europe).

Professor Jeff Lipman, Research Ambassador, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital said, “We still lack the evidence base to truly know the best treatment protocol for COVID-19, although we have been encouraged by smaller successful studies in USA and France utilising hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin together.

“This study is an alliance of hospitals in Australia and the United States, with countries in Asia, Europe and elsewhere also invited to participate.”

Mrs. Gina Rinehart, Executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group, has donated $2.6 million to the RBWH Foundation to enable Australian hospitals to join the trials and for Brisbane to be the coordinating centre for this international study.

In addition to a further almost $2 million to help overseas hospitals join the trials, with the majority of this going towards USA hospitals participating in this study.

Mrs. Rinehart is very excited about this large multi hospital, multi country study.

At this point, there are no COVID-19 vaccines available and even when such vaccines are discovered, it will take further months for both testing and government approvals, and after that more months for the vaccine to be manufactured and widely distributed and available.

She hence believes that an urgent multi-hospital, multinational study with testing of patients, aiming to enable better treatment protocols, and without subjecting COVID-19 patients to placebos, is critical, to help save lives and shorten hospital stays.

And to provide support for those on the front line be they medical staff, police, service providers or volunteers exposing their lives to serve in their various capacities against COVID-19.

Better treatment regimes will also be important to help those especially in high risk categories and those needing to return to work and their families.

Mrs. Rinehart said “Australia has a long and very important alliance with the United States, and we are very pleased to be working together to help patients, hospital staff and volunteers and the many serving in various capacities against COVID-19, in both our countries with trials that aim to lead to shorter hospital stays and more lives saved via more effective COVID-19 treatment protocols.

“To have such trial will also be important for those needing to return to work, and the families they live with, plus of course those in high risk categories.

“I am excited to be working on this with world-leading medical researchers and the RBWH Foundation to support this first-of-its-kind and very important global study.

“I would especially like to thank Professor Jeff Lipman, together with his two colleagues in Brisbane, Jason Roberts, Michael Reade as well as Professor Doctors Garcia-Diaz, joining us from the USA, and the highly regarded, Oral Oncul, also joining us from overseas (Europe), plus Drs Peter Eng and Taufiq Binjemain, who have also been working very hard to get this study approved and underway.”

The trials have received ethics approval and will launch at the RBWH in Australia this month and hospitals from the USA will take part in the trials include Ochsner Health in New Orleans.

“New Orleans is an epicentre for the COVID-19 outbreak and Ochsner Health are a key partner for this study,” said Professor Lipman.

“The University of Queensland Faculty of Medicine and the Ochsner Clinical School have a long-standing partnership which involves Ochsner Clinic medical students spending two years studying medicine at UQ, so we’re excited to partner further with them.”

Other countries which have expressed interest in joining the study include Malaysia and Thailand.

“We’re partnering with other hospitals around the world to test the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of these treatments and to endeavour to provide a better treatment protocol,” said Professor Lipman.

“The primary aim of this study is to reduce deaths resulting from COVID-19, and the need for prolonged mechanical ventilation and prolonged hospital stays.”

Globally, more than 4000 patients who have COVID-19, including those in the ICU, will be approached to participate in the study.


RBWH Foundation is the charity arm of Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH). The RBWH Foundation is dedicated to funding life-saving medical research, world-class training, medical equipment and hospital staff support.  The RBWH is also home to many of the world’s greatest medical researchers and scientists and is listed as one of Newsweek’s top 100 hospitals in the world.


Profiles Team Leading Study

RBWH/University of Queensland Clinical Research

Professor Jeff Lipman

Professor Jason Roberts

Professor Michael Reade


International Partners

Associate Professor Julia Garcia-Diaz – United States

Professor Dr Oral Oncul – Europe




RBWH Foundation media enquiries:

Emily Anderson – Director Communications & Engagement
RBWH Foundation
+61 414448313
Hancock Prospecting Group media enquiries:

James Radford

External Affairs Manager

M: +61 438 668 487