Updated on 28 June 2012
According to a survey conducted by AusBiotech, 54 percent of the respondents were able to raise capital in 2011 through issuance of equity, debt instruments and government grants.
Dr Anna Lavelle, CEO, AusBiotech, says, "The performance of the overall industry has remained positive, despite economic woes continuing around the globe. A trend that started more than a year ago is continuing, as Australian biotech firms attract growing interest from international investors. This is evident from the fact that the number of deals steadily increased at the AusBiotech Investment series events. There's a buzz amongst investors, about the availability of value offering, and there is also much excitement about the Tax Credit and what it will mean for the future of the companies that are being showcased."
Besides the support of from the federal government, the Queensland government too has presented a new round of an additional $100 million in the state budget to boost investments in biotechnology and attract global researchers.
Singapore has ready infrastructure
Singapore has already developed a fine infrastructure to boost its investments. The country has slated more than $2.9 billion over 2011-15 to enhance its existing biomedical R&D infrastructure, integrate multi-disciplinary research and translate basic science into tangible outcomes. Singapore has brought together its research institutes, universities, medical schools, hospitals and specialty medical institutes into one integrated network through Biomedical Sciences Industry Partnership Office (IPO). This IPO serves as a single-point-of-contact for matching the companies' needs with expertise in Singapore's academic institutes.
Because of the above government initiatives, companies such as Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), Lonza, CPR Pharma and Marken, among others, have either set up or expanded their operations in Singapore during the last one year. MSD, known as Merck in US and Canada, and EDB have signed a new agreement under which MSD will expand its presence in Singapore through new manufacturing, marketing, and research investments. Under the agreement, MSD will invest over $250 million over the next 10 years in site improvements at its manufacturing facilities in Tuas. Additionally, it will expand its biotech operations thus adding technology capability to support new product launches. Another SGD $700 million will be spent in bolstering its research capabilities. Since starting its operations in 1996, the group invested about $1.5 billion in Singapore, including those made on a chemical manufacturing facility that is expected to be closed by the end of next year, as part of its consolidation.