Country Report: Australia - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Country Report: Australia
Where Value Beats Cost

Pharmaceutical Executive



Don’t Forget About Alzheimer’s
"The quality and the ability to do work that other countries cannot do are key," explained Jason Smith the choice of his company Novartis to invest close to USD40 million in R&D in Australia annually. While part of the money is invested in over 100 clinical trials, Novartis' research commitment to Australia is no longer limited to the clinical side.


Craig Rogers, CEO, Nucleus Network
The Swiss drug maker recently announced collaboration with the Brain & Mind Research Institute, one of Australia's leading neuroscience centres. Through this cooperation, Novartis is supporting the first multi-country analysis of MRI work in its kind in the Southern Hemisphere within the company. Australia is the third country within the group after the US and Switzerland to have this capability.

While discovery-focused research is becoming increasingly popular, the last few years have been tough for the clinical research sector. "The last three or four years have been tough, the financial crisis has had an impact on the work coming through both from small biotechs into Australia and the overall availability of money to overseas biotechs," said Craig Rogers, CEO of Nucleus Network, one of Australia's leading early-phase clinical research businesses. "Also from the big pharma perspective the high Australian dollar has made us less competitive."

Still, a lot of big pharma and biotech companies like Australia because studies can be done before filing IND, to get patient data before going to the FDA. "Also, all phase I studies can be addressed by the local ethics committee," Rogers said. "So as long as there is a competent ethics committee with the right scientific subcommittee, they can do the full evaluation to avoid going through a central regulatory process."


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