AusBiotech highlights cell and gene therapy opportunity to Senate Inquiry


Jointly delivering evidence to the Senate Inquiry on the Australian manufacturing industry last week, AusBiotech and Cell Therapies promoted Australia’s opportunity to harness the emerging regenerative medicine (RM), or cell and gene therapy sector.

This followed AusBiotech’s written and joint submission with Cell Therapies Ltd, Research Strategies Australia, and MTPConnect.

AusBiotech CEO, Lorraine Chiroiu, explained, “These treatments are approved and reimbursed in Australia and are changing the lives of patients with cancer in an unprecedented way, however they are individualised and complex, and there is an obvious and significant opportunity to maximise the health investment in generating each treatment, by ensuring sovereign manufacturing capacity.”

“Sophisticated advanced manufacturing is required to generate these products, including expensive credentialled facilities, specialised equipment and technologies, high levels of quality assurance and quality control, and a highly-skilled workforce working in this new and emerging industry … [These necessary requirements] currently limit the ability of manufacturers to take advantage of scale-up efficiencies with proven track records of meeting global standards, despite the need for scale to be able to treat greater numbers of patients and make the facilities commercially viable.”

The opportunity for regenerative medicine is great and Australia is well positioned to capture the high-value opportunities that will exist in the future. However, there is intense regional competition in Asia for their jurisdictions to be the future location of this developing industry to supply the region.

If Australia is to realise this opportunity, a regenerative medicine industry must be fostered at all levels and in a sophisticated way. To support and coordinate this, AusBiotech and Medicines Australia are co-leading a national Cell and Gene Therapy Catalyst which will drive the delivery of its Strategic Roadmap.

AusBiotech has been leading the Regenerative Medicine Consortium Project, a consortium of seven partners, that over the past 12 months has developed a plethora of resources offering new knowledge and benchmarking, purpose, and a firm, unified direction for the Australian industry’s future. These resources offer a solid ‘foundation’ for the new Cell and Gene Therapy Catalyst to drive benefits to Australia’s economy and the health of its people.

The Senate Inquiry is considering current and future economic growth drivers, capacity, new areas Australia can establish itself as a global leader, national resilience, and the role that government can play in assisting our domestic manufacturing industry, including R&D, attracting investment, supply chain support, government procurement, trade policy, and skills and training.