1 April 2022: As leading healthcare investors, BioScience Managers welcomes the on-going bipartisan support for Australia’s developing biotechnology sector following the March Federal Budget. However, BioScience Managers is calling for greater backing from Australia’s investment community, particularly institutional investors, to retain the benefits of Australian innovation within Australia as a critical part our post COVID-19 pandemic recovery.
“Through the pandemic we have seen Australian biotech and digital health companies step up and work with government and community partners to accelerate innovations and ensure we can supply key health services across Australia,” said Jeremy Curnock Cook, Managing Partner of BioScience Managers.
“However, as a funds manager, including for the Australian Government’s co-investment venture capital program, the Biomedical Translation Fund, we’ve also continued to see promising Australian companies having to seek the bulk of the capital they need to commercialise and grow from overseas, diluting Australian ownership and benefits for the Australian community and economy.”
The accelerating development of Australia’s biotechnology ecosystem is being noticed on the world stage, and is exemplified by the launch of the new Biotechnology in Australia – Strategic Plan for Health and Medicine.
Government is backing the sector with initiatives such as the second 10-year investment plan for Australia’s Medical Research Future Fund with a commitment of an additional expenditure of $3.1billion. The Victorian and Federal governments are co-investing in Moderna’s new mRNA vaccine manufacture and research centre.
“We need governments to help us call out the Australian private investment community for its lack of understanding and support for Australia’s biotechnology sector and its unrealised potential for patients, community wellbeing, supply chain security as well as economic returns and benefits.”
Furthermore, there is significant upside potential in emerging digital data and health technologies that are needed to understand system level issues, target health interventions and expenditure, drive efficiencies and improve outcomes in areas such as aged care.
“BioScience Mangers would like to see the Australian co-investment venture capital model extended to digital health as part of an integrated, efficient, systemic approach to improving health services for Australians.”