Australia a ‘growing hub’ for early-stage CRO work: Report


A new report by Frost & Sullivan presented at DIA China has found that Australia is becoming the country of choice for early-stage pharma, biotech and CRO research given its low tax status compared to the U.S.

Highlights of the report, written by Frost & Sullivan and commissioned by Australian CRO Novotech, shows that cost, regulatory speed and flexibility, and quality “are the key drivers for biopharma companies selecting Australia for early phase trials.”

Its authors said Australia has a “proven reputation” with regulators, including the U.S. FDA for quality R&D, and that its research shows Australia, with its tax incentive program, can be up to “60% more cost-effective to run trials than the U.S.”

Novotech Asia COO Dr. John Moller said Novotech wanted data on how Australia was perceived in the global clinical trial sector, especially for early phase trials.

“As a leading independent Asia CRO with offices throughout the region, we commissioned the Frost & Sullivan research to better understand how the industry was evolving in our part of the world,” Moller said.

“This research will further inform the way we, and other CROs in Australia, communicate with sponsors from Asia and the U.S. on why they should consider Australia for early-phase studies.”

According to the report: “In 2015, the Australian CRO market generated almost USD400 million in revenue; the market is expected to reach USD615 million by 2019, growing at a CAGR of 12%.  Early phase clinical trials have been growing at nearly twice this rate which we expect will continue.”

At the DIA, Moller explained why Novotech expanded operations to China in 2014, saying: “China’s increasingly sophisticated clinical trial infrastructure and its 1.36 billion population with a high incidence of chronic diseases, makes it a compelling choice for our EU and USA biotech and pharma clients. 

“However, the Chinese biotech sector is increasingly well funded, and we believe that Australia provides an excellent opportunity for Chinese companies to accelerate their development programmes with rapid, high quality and cost effective early stage trials.”