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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Australian Research Excellence

Australian research is attracting attention from European biotechnology companies, thanks to its rapid improvement and growth. Nicola Watkinson of the Australian Government explains why the future’s bright for the Australian biotechnology industry

In a recent report, Ernst & Young note that the global biotech industry achieved a 14 per cent overall growth rate in 2006 to exceed US$73 billion in revenues (1). If the double-digit growth continues over the next few years, then the biotech industry is set to become a US$100 billion industry by the end of this decade (2). This growth, driven primarily by expansion in the US and European biotech industries, is flowing to Australian shores as international companies are increasingly choosing to do business with innovative Australian biotech players. Australia generated more than 72 per cent of the total biotech revenue in the Asia-Pacific in 2006 (3).

AUSTRALIAN BIOTECH – AN INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

Australia is the number one biotechnology location in the Asia-Pacific (4). Recent developments in Australia’s biotech industry that have spiked the interest of the global biotech community include its increased maturity and strong growth. Since 2002, the number of core biotechnology companies in Australia has more than doubled to 470 (5). This rapid growth has created a greater critical mass, bringing depth to the domestic market, strengthening market potential and offering global companies even more partnering opportunities with Australian companies. A significant development in the Australian biotech industry was the 2007 merger of therapeutic companies EvoGenix and Peptech Limited to form Arana Therapeutics, now one of Australia’s biggest biotechnology companies.


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Nicola Watkinson is the Australian Government’s Senior Investment Commissioner for Europe. With a comprehensive knowledge of Australia’s biotechnology capabilities, she also has several years experience in working closely with European businesses to help identify partnership opportunities with Australian companies. Nicola manages offices in France, the UK and Germany and has been living in Frankfurt since 2002.
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