The Government of Australia has announced an $8m investment to support clinical trials across various conditions, including heart and brain diseases.

The funding will be available under the government’s Medical Research Future Fund International Clinical Trial Collaborations programme.

As part of the initiative, the University of Western Australia will receive $1.8m in funding to explore treatments for aortic stenosis, which is characterised by severe narrowing of the aortic heart valve.

The trial will focus on determining the benefits of earlier valve replacement.

Macquarie University has also received $3.1m for a study that will evaluate the benefits of lifestyle changes in protecting brain health and reducing the risk of dementia.

The George Institute for Global Health will use $902,000 in funding to investigate the best treatments for aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage, which is caused by the bursting of an artery in the brain.

According to statistics, about 50% of the aneurysmal subarachnoid haemorrhage patients aged 40-60 die, while around 33% experience permanent disability.

The George Institute for Global Health trial will focus on allowing better disease management.

In addition, the University of Newcastle will get $782,000 to test a new type of wound dressing meant to minimise infections after emergency abdominal surgery.

The government will provide $1.4m to the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which intends to find an approach to support fragile lungs in preterm babies. Such lungs are prone to collapse and could lead to injury.

This trial will evaluate positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) techniques in preterm infants.

A statement from Minister for Health Greg Hunt read: “The Morrison government recognises the importance of clinical trials to drive new ideas and achieve new discoveries to improve quality of life and survival rates, and boost our nation’s strong reputation as a global leader in medical research.”

Each trial will be conducted in at least one site in Australia, and trials will involve international researchers or teams.