Australia makes its mark in biotechnology

From Nature, 10 May 2018:

In 1999, an Australian federal government briefing paper on biotechnology in the country concluded that the sector “hardly rates as an economic force” because of its small size and the financial challenges that it faced in getting products to market.

Now, barely two decades later, Australia has ranked in the top five globally for biotechnology three years running, outperforming nations such as the United Kingdom and Germany, according to Scientific American Worldview. The medical-biotechnology sector has benefited from a multibillion-dollar windfall of government funding, as well as from substantial tax breaks for companies investing in research and development.

A run of high-profile international sales and licensing deals has attracted considerable interest from multinational pharmaceutical companies looking to invest in biotechnology. And although the medical sector garners the most headlines and funding, Australian agricultural, environmental and industrial biotechnologies are making their debut on the world stage. But despite the enthusiasm, there are concerns that Australian biotechnology faces a major threat from the federal government’s planned overhaul of a tax-incentive scheme that many argue has delivered the industry’s biggest boost. Read more.

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