Opthea reports R&D tax incentive credit

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Opthea (ASX:OPT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel biologic therapies to treat back-of-the-eye diseases, has received a $14.6 million research and development (R&D) tax credit from the Australian Taxation Office.

According to Opthea CEO and managing director, Dr Megan Baldwin, “This R&D tax incentive credit of A$14.6 million increases the company’s cash balances to over A$30 million and will contribute to the execution and delivery of outcomes from our clinical trials of OPT-302 in both wet AMD and DME”.

The refund, which is for research and development costs incurred in the last financial year, comes as the federal government retains its commitment to reform the program.

The federal government has proposed a range of reforms to the popular program that are budgeted to reduce federal support to R&D activity by around $2.4 billion.

The proposed reforms include a cut in the benefit provided under the program, with a limited exemption for investment in clinical trials, and the introduction of a new 'intensity' test.

The life sciences sector has opposed the reforms, led by AusBiotech, highlighting the negative impact and risk of unintended consequences.

A pre-election parliamentary inquiry led by government Senator Jane Hume recommended the Senate "defer consideration" of the changes "until further examination and analysis of the impact" are undertaken.