Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin research institutions and bioscience enterprises should consider collaborating with their Australian counterparts to conduct clinical trials due to the favorable conditions created by Australia’s regulatory, economic and health care systems.
Australia is recognized internationally as one of the best places to conduct clinical trials due to the presence of world-class medical research and health care infrastructure, socioeconomic stability, efficient regulatory and intellectual property systems, and a rapid clinical trial approval system. For over three decades, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies from across the globe have relied on Australian clinical trial sites to deliver timely results and fulfill quality and ethical standards.
Every year, around 1,000 new clinical trials begin in Australia, representing $800 million ($1billion Australian) in investment. The world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies alone invest around $155 million ($200 million Australian) each year in clinical trials in Australia. The Australian government also provides funding to the sector, primarily through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Medical Research Endowment Account (MREA). Each year the NHMRC disburses around $700 million ($900 million Australian) through this account, and of that, more than $78 million ($100 million Australian) goes towards clinical trials.
As a state, Wisconsin is recognized for its strong international leadership and research capabilities in the bioscience sector, and encouragingly, several examples exist of joint projects between Australian and Wisconsin research institutions in this space:
- Cynata Therapeutics Limited is an Australian stem cell and regenerative medicine company that is developing a therapeutic stem cell platform technology, Cymerus™, using discoveries made at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and using Waisman Biomanufacturing as its contract manufacturer for the trial. (Read ASX announcement - Cynata Commences Manufacture of Clinical Trial Product; Files Further Patent Application)
- Promega Corporation has established offices in Australia, and through its local offices, is part of a consortium that received a $387,000 ($499,000 Australian) Linkage Grant from the Australian Research Council for use over three years. The grant is titled “Development of Technologies to Monitor Multimolecular Complexes,” and the University of Western Australia consortium is led by Dimerix (a clinical stage biotechnology company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange) in cooperation with scientists at the University of Queensland, University of Nottingham (UK), leading instrumentation manufacturer BMG Labtech (headquartered in Germany with an office in Australia), and global reagent supplier Promega Corporation.
Other Wisconsin organizations with R&D capabilities, medical devices and medical technology solutions may also find opportunities to form partnerships in Australia through research collaboration, as part of a consortium or by establishing an in-country presence and tapping into local funding.
Wisconsin companies interested in exploring opportunities to undertake clinical trials in Australia are therefore encouraged to:
- learn more about the process and regulations for clinical trials in Australia by reviewing the online information and guidance to companies provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council;
- consult the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, an online database that outlines clinical trials currently in progress and enables organizations to register future clinical trials; and
- review the list of members that form the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance for potential collaboration partners, and consider attending industry events hosted by this alliance.