Updated on 28 June 2012
Countries in Asia are actively working to attract investments. (Photo: Bigstock)
Asia's two leading economies, India and China are actively working on new strategies to attract money into the bioscience sector, seeking significant foreign investment in the coming years. This is in addition to stepping up the government investment tempo in the country. While China invested $178.7 billion towards medical and healthcare reforms from 2009-11, India plans to set up venture capital funds worth $639.56 million to promote its pharmaceutical sector. Even Taiwan has established its first venture capital fund, known as Taiwan Medtech Fund, with a capital target of $172 million and Singapore has slated more than $2.9 billion during 2011-15. Asian countries indeed are resorting to new measures, reforming existing policies and adopting new protocols to grab a higher inward investments.
Australia, a favorite
Australia Trade Commission reported Australia to be a top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI), with total stock growing at 6.6 percent to reach a record $505 million in 2011. Major investments in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector are coming from Europe. The year 2011 saw the closing of some significant deals. German company, Fresenius Kabi, invested $3.5 million in setting up an oncology compounding center in Brisbane. Giving boost to innovative start-up companies, local and foreign investors supported Australian biotech venture, Vaxxas, providing it with $15 million to commercialize its product.
Recently, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) revealed that they would invest $60 million in order to enhance its manufacturing capability and R&D activities in Australia. Moreover, a major stem cell investment deal was made between Swiss-based Lonza and Australia's Mesoblast. The deal pertains to the manufacturing and supply of Mesoblast's mesenchymal precursor cell (MPC) therapies, which could be used to improve the efficacy of bone marrow transplants in the treatment of cancer.
AusBiotech reports that in 2011, the capital raised from the initial public offers (IPOs) was significantly lower than that of the previous year. However, the listings and raisings of international companies such as Bioniche Life Sciences (which raised $12.5 million) and GI Dynamics (which raised $80 million) provided evidence of Australia's ever-increasing international biotechnology presence.