A recently published report by Austrade unveils why Australia continues to be regarded as one of the world's leading destinations for high-quality research and clinical trials.

Released in January 2018, Clinical Trials provides an overview of Australia's life sciences strengths and capabilities, listing key factors that help support the sector, such as:

  • Minimising regulatory burdens: for over two decades, Australia’s Clinical Trial Notification (CTN) scheme has been a global benchmark for best practice in reducing the regulatory burden on clinical trial sponsors
  • Providing attractive tax incentives: the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Incentive is specifically designed to make access to tax benefits more efficient and more predictable
  • Boosting competitiveness through policy innovation: reforms on both state and federal level have been initiated to further reduce start-up times, boost patient recruitment and standardise clinical trial costs
  • Protecting valuable intellectual property: Australia has one of the strongest and most stable intellectual property systems in the world
  • Providing a stable operating environment: Australia is forecast to be the highest among major advanced economies over the next five years
“High research and quality standards, comparable costs, timely trial approval and reliable patient recruitment make Australia an attractive destination to conduct clinical trials” Novartis 

Melbourne, Victoria – the number one choice

According to Australia’s Life Sciences Sector Snapshot 2017, cited in the Report, Victoria is home to 309 life sciences organisations (the largest in Australia accounting for 69 per cent of the nation's life sciences organisations), and employs more people than any other state providing 75,151 jobs.

The Report draws upon a handful of case studies to highlight Australia’s excellence and innovation in clinical trials, including two prominent Victorian organisations – Nucleus Network, one of Australia’s leading clinical research organisations specialising in first-in-human studies, and Neuroscience Trials Australia, a niche contract research organisation that recently delivered clinical trial services for a world-first drug, and device trial for the treatment of severe refractory epilepsy.

VIDEO: Medtech and Pharma in Victoria

Melbourne is a premier location for clinical trials, building on a strong foundation of talent, world-class infrastructure and a vibrant culture of collaboration. Our international reputation for superior quality and cost competitiveness is based on its strong base of highly skilled professionals, a concentration of world-class research institutes and Victoria's robust intellectual property and efficient regulatory systems.

Fast facts

  • Australia is in the world’s top five in biotechnology innovation1
  • In 2016, Victoria exported around 47 per cent of Australia’s total pharmaceutical products worth just over A$1.5 billion
  • There are currently 1654 verifiable life sciences organisations in Australia employing approximately 232, 213 people2
  • The largest two areas of the sector are industry and research institutes – which employ 30 per cent and 28 per cent of the entire life sciences workforce respectively3
  • 69 per cent of life science organisations in Australia are involved in health and biomedical research4
  • 140 of Australia’s life science companies are ASX-listed and in 2017, medical technology and digital health had the highest proportion of listings5

1. AusBiotech: Australia’s Life Sciences Sector. Snapshot 2017 https://www. ausbiotech.org/documents/item/389. Accessed 24 January 2018

2. Austrade Clinical Trial Report January 2018. Accessed 24 January 2018
3. ibid
4. ibid
5. ibid

6. Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, October 2016, and Austrade: Australian Benchmark Report 2017: austrade.gov.au/International/Invest/ Resources/Benchmark-Report: file:///C:/Users/VICQTGE/Downloads/Clincal-Trials-Capability-Report%20(7).pdf Accessed 24 January 2018