Strong investor interest in the Australian life sciences

Investor interest in the Australian life sciences is strong, stemming from the nation’s top ranking in the global life sciences and its diverse suite of investment opportunities in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

Life science innovation in Australia has a proven track record, with a vaccine to present cervical cancer and a medical device enabling deaf patients to hear among the most-often-cited examples.

Australia is a world-leading location for biotechnology, boasting the largest listed biotechnology sector as a proportion of GDP in the world. Innovation in Australian biotech is currently ranked fourth in the world (Scientific American Worldview). Last year, the Australian biotechnology industry was valued at $81 billion and attracted $1.384 billion of capital raising (Bioshares, 31 December 2016). It has one of the largest and fastest-growing public markets for biotechnology and yields some of the greatest public revenues across the globe. AusBiotech’s 2016 CEO Biotechnology Industry Position Survey revealed that 70 per cent of respondents expected to hire more staff throughout the year. With Australia home to one of the largest groups of global graduate students, it is clear that Australia’s strength in biotechnology only promises to grow.

Today, Australia’s position as an attractive destination for foreign life science investors is strengthened by a refreshing focus on innovation in public policy.

Innovation-focussed policy strengthens the Australian biotechnology industry’s competitive advantage over its international counterparts. The new Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF), which will be at least $250 million in size, will match private sector investment in biomedical commercialisation and create additional opportunities for foreign investors to access Australia’s expertise and discoveries. Fund managers have been selected through a competitive process, bringing at least matching funding from the private sector for investment, and will help investors access greater value for their investment by leveraging the public contribution.

As a global leader in medical technologies, Australia’s diverse suite of investment opportunities in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals ranges from discovery research to product development and manufacturing. Good intellectual property protection, a transparent and effective regulatory system, and the Federal Government’s Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive all serve to attract and retain global investor attention.

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