The 2019 Biotechnology Industry Position survey conducted by Ausbiotech and supported by Grant Thornton has revealed that new technologies across regenerative medicine and medicinal cannabis are disrupting the industry, and Australia's global strength in clinical trials continues to drive contributions to the economic and social fabric of the country.
The relatively new science field of regenerative medicine is expected to disrupt the health treatments available to patients world-wide and the global sentiment towards medicinal cannabis is changing, with Australian biotechnology companies claiming the space to demonstrate the medicinal value for patients.
Other key findings of the report include:
- There is a prevailing view that support for tech transfer and commercialisation diminishes as research leaves public institutions on the commercialisation pathway.
- Poor metrics, combined with a lack of understanding of the skills and investment needed for the industry’s future, has conspired to drive poor policy decisions.
- There was a sharp decline of 19% in capital raising in 2019 which could be attributed to the current level of comfort felt by companies with their cash reserves, with 26 per cent of respondents indicating that they could continue to operate for up to two years at their current burn rate, or a wait and see approach - prompted by business sentiment.
The report also showed that there is a worrying fall in business sentiment across the sector with uncertainty over the fate of the R&D Tax Incentive. However, Karen Andrews, the newly reappointed Industry, Research and Technology Minister has this week said she is committed to working with the tech and innovation sector to make sure there are good outcomes for Australia.
Michael Cunningham, National Head of Life Sciences, Grant Thornton Australia
“We need greater support to the commercialisation process to keep the profits and future development opportunities from the life sciences sector here in Australia. Emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region are making biotechnology a priority, and Australia must continue to provide an attractive landscape for life sciences firms to conduct R&D, manufacturing and domestic distribution activities to fuel growth in 2019 and beyond.”