AusBiotech presents at Parliamentary Inquiry


AusBiotech presented today at the parliamentary inquiry into approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia, highlighting the long-term and stable biotech policy incentives needed to support and sustain R&D for treating rare diseases and conditions, where there is high and unmet clinical need.

Biotechnology innovation occurs in a unique environment and faces highly complex challenges, and AusBiotech highlighted the necessary enablers to commercialise research. Ms Lorraine Chiroiu, CEO, AusBiotech, underscored the long-term bipartisan support for the R&D Tax Incentive, and how the design of the patent box – announced in the Federal Budget last week – will be key to unlocking further economic and social benefits.

AusBiotech CEO Lorraine Chiroiu said, “… we would like to see our pre-revenue companies mature and earn revenue, because that indicates that a treatment, vaccine, device or diagnostic has reached a patient. It indicates that research has been commercialised or translated, and it then creates value. It is reliant on all parts of the pathway being open and healthy, as gaps and blockages impede our progress.

“Every researcher with a promising technology, university or MRI tech transfer office, spin-out, start-up or SME must have a clear, reliable, consistent view to the point of commercialisation, market and patient access – if we, the Australian community, are ultimately to benefit. … If we wish to have access to these new and novel technologies then we need to ensure the pathway is fit for purpose and the structures welcome, rather than block, our progress.”

AusBiotech was pleased to make a submission in October 2021 to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport, chaired by Coalition MP Trent Zimmerman, in response to the Inquiry. The Inquiry follows a referral from the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP.

AusBiotech’s submission and comments directly addressed the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference and outlined key areas where Australia can respond to emerging global trends and be well-positioned to access new drugs and novel medical technologies in a timely manner. It also identified:

  1. areas of innovation and opportunities in relation to new therapeutic and medical interventions;
  2. policy levers to incentivise research, development and commercialisation of products in the biotechnology sector;
  3. the importance of clinical trials in the development process of bringing new therapies, devices and diagnostics to patients, and,
  4. enhancements to Australia’s regulatory and reimbursement frameworks for cell and gene therapies, across areas of innovation such as digital health, precision medicines as well as rapid diagnostics.