Investors drawn to Melbourne for world-leading biotech investment showcase


Australia’s biggest biotech investment event in this part of the world to date, Australia Biotech Invest 2015, opens today in Melbourne amid resurgent signs for the sector.

The two-day investment event has attracted 23 presenting companies and more than 120 investors and 150 companies from around the world, providing a platform for Australian life science companies to showcase their innovation for investment and partnerships.

“The indicators internationally are showing that we are a country that can take discoveries through the innovation process to commercialisation, and to value inflection points that is of great interest to investors,” said Dr Lavelle, Chief Executive Officer of AusBiotech.

In the last six months, the local Australian industry has been attracting significant deals. Hatchtech signed a licensing deal worth up to AU$ 279 million for its Xeglyze head lice treatment. Starpharma signed a licensing deal worth up to AU$650 million with Astrazeneca for its dendrimer drug delivery platform and Fibrotech was purchased by Shire in a deal worth up to AU$600 million for new class of drugs to treat fibrosis.

Spinifex was purchased by Novartis in a deal worth up to AU$1 billion, for its treatment of chronic pain in what has been described as the biggest deal on record in biotech and most successful venture capital exit in Australia’s history.

We have also seen several US-based companies choosing to list on the ASX, such as Impedimed and recently, AirXpanders, which have received much interest from Australian investors.

In recent months, the biotech and life sciences sector has seen four new IPOs come through, including Adherium.

The new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s stated support for innovation and Christopher Pyne’s appointment to a beefed-up industry and innovation portfolio is also cause for optimism.

Australia Biotech Invest 2015 will lift the profile of the Australian biotechnology industry and create access to greater funding sources for local companies to develop world-class science into therapies, diagnostics and medical devices.

The event, the biggest investment event of its kind in the southern hemisphere, has brought international and Australian investors to Melbourne’s doorstep, creating the potential for millions of dollars in new investment in the local life sciences industry. The event has attracted 25% international delegates, who are travelling from China, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, the UK and US, with 200 investor/company meetings already scheduled to take place over two days.

Investor are attracted to Australia by the quality of companies, the R&D Tax Incentive and the Clinical Trials Notification scheme.

Discussions will cover global biotech investment trends and opportunities, key challenges, strategic partnering for long-term success, how to access investment from China, and biotech financing and business models for future growth. Local analysts and brokers will be on panels discussing biotech performance and the growth outlook in Australia and New Zealand. The event also features one-on-one meetings and networking activities.

This year’s Australia Biotech Invest is supported by the Victorian Government and the Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, the Hon Philip Dalidakis MP will make the opening address.