Albury Wodonga Health and the Border Medical Oncology Research Unit have joined forces to conduct research into COVID-19.
AWH infectious disease physician Justin Jackson has been at the forefront of the pandemic response and is now leading two trials, for returned Border travellers and healthcare workers.
The first part of the COVIDCONVERT trial looks for antibodies to the virus in blood samples of travellers, and compares those results with their swab tests.
"We've had a fantastic response from the people we've contacted, primarily through the hospital COVID-19 clinic," Dr Jackson said.
"Returned travellers can contact us to be involved.
"We were having some patients coming through the hospital clinic with one partner in the house testing positive, and one testing negative.
"There's probably two possibilities - one is we tested them at the wrong time, and the other is the test didn't pick it [the virus] up when it was in fact present.
"The study aims to compare the accuracy of the PCR result during the acute illness to the memory of the infection from serology."
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About 50 people are on the books, with Border Medical Oncology Research Unit supporting investigations.
"The logistics is one of the biggest things, getting these patients from all over the place to come and have blood tests," business manager Fiona Tuthill said.
"The majority of our work is cancer-related clinical trials.
"It's great to do more with AWH - we do some health services research, but this is the first involvement like this establishing a clinical trial."
Work on the first trial has been happening for four weeks, and Dr Jackson will soon begin recruiting frontline health care workers, who will provide blood samples every six months.
"This is an important opportunity to be part of better understanding this virus and the way it behaves," he said.
Westmead Hospital's research unit has developed the antibody test and is also a trial partner.
The news of the COVID-19 trials comes after International Clinical Trials Day, which falls on May 20 and commemorates the day James Lind started his study to determine the cause of scurvy.
Border Medical Oncology Research Unit, which has grown from one investigator in 1998 to a team of 20 people, celebrated the day.
"The region is very fortunate to have such a dedicated group of people working very hard, contributing to research with a goal of improving future treatments to regional patients," Ms Tuthill said.
The unit has opened more than 350 trials in that time, and 38 are currently open at the cancer centre.