Why Australia is a prime destination for drug discovery projects


Wednesday, 23 December, 2020

Why Australia is a prime destination for drug discovery projects

In an uncertain domestic environment, many drug discovery companies are looking to find safe, reliable locations to continue their important work in chemical and pharmaceutical development.

The CEO of Australian contract medicinal chemistry company Epichem, Colin La Galia, says there are several compelling reasons why companies should consider Australia as the best location for their next chemistry and drug development partnership.

“In many ways, it’s one of international science’s best-kept secrets — many companies we talk to hadn’t even considered Australian companies as international partners, before the appeal of operating here becomes apparent,” he said.

“But we’ve got outstanding talent, a thriving industry and a terrific legal and scientific culture — it’s time the secret gets out!”

Here are five major reasons international companies should consider Australian companies as their research partners.

1. Australian companies are open for business

With coronavirus cases suppressed across the country, most Australian states are fully operational with business as close to normal as possible, placing them far ahead of the majority of countries in the world.

In the state of Western Australia in particular, there has been six months of zero community transmission. That means no barriers to the operation of your project and an effective and efficient delivery of service.

2. Australia has some of the best talent in the world

Australia has a strong and growing number of PhD-qualified personnel in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.

Nearly half of Australian PhD holders are employed in the private and public sectors and the medical and pharmaceutical industry is ranked in the top four employers of graduates. Around 2500 doctorate holders are entering the public and private sectors every year and that number is growing.

3. The Australian legal system has excellent IP protection protocols, designed to foster international collaboration

Protection of intellectual property is one of the most significant challenges facing any chemical or pharmaceutical developer. Intellectual property law in Australia is business-friendly and “designed to encourage innovation and protect businesses that develop original IP”, according to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission’s website.

Australia’s legal framework for intellectual property is specifically designed to encourage foreign investment, striking an ideal balance between freedom and protection. Australia has a robust legal system and low levels of corruption, but without the litigious environment that pervades other places around the world.

4. Australians have a collaborative culture of teamwork and partnership

By any international standard, Australia has had a professional culture of collaboration and friendship throughout its history, particularly within the scientific community. Stable policymaking and a high degree of harmony between states makes establishing entities and conducting business far easier than in countries like the USA.

“Our international partners continually comment on the friendly, professional nature of working with Australians,” La Galia said.

5. We work while others are asleep

One of the unexpected benefits for many international partners is the time difference, which may seem like a hurdle at first but is soon revealed to be anything but, as work on projects continues throughout the night.

The other major reason to operate in partnership with Australia, La Galia said, is the balance between cost and quality.

“While our work is of the highest quality, preclinical research is extremely cost-effective to run in Australia as a result of tax incentives and the speed of approval process,” he said.

“That means running research projects in Australia is significantly cheaper than many other places around the world, without any compromise on the quality of that research.”

For these reasons and others, if you’re looking for an effective partner on a chemical research and development project, it might be time to head down under.

Epichem CEO Colin La Galia.

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