Volume 8 Number 5, September/October 1998, pp. 280-288
Innovation by Australian Biotechnology Companies
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This paper briefly reviews the growth of Australia's dedicated biotech companies
(DBCs), their location and their target industry sectors, and compares these with trends in the
US and Europe. Of the current population of 132 DBCs, 42 have been established since 1995,
and 40% are spinoffs from research institutions. NSW and Victoria remain the main locations
for these companies. The largest group of companies is in human therapeutics, followed by
diagnostic products and biologicals. Together these account for 57% of target sectors.
Australian DBCs are small and appear to perform R&D at a lower rate than their
overseas counterparts. One third of this R&D is outsourced, primarily to research
institutions in the DBCs' local area. The most common type of formal linkage is collaborative
R&D, followed by contract R&D, in-licensing and others. The implications of these
findings for government policy are discussed briefly.
Copyright 1998 Australian Biotechnology Association Ltd.