In a previous series of short articles, we profiled Australia and three of its main cities for life sciences innovation: Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney. Here we add another worthy Australian city to the list, Adelaide.
One of the perils of writing a ‘four-part series’ on Australia is that the country boasts a veritable multitude of biotech-relevant hot-spots that a four-part series cannot do full justice to. In leaving this year’s AusBiotech Conference, we decided the first addendum had to be Adelaide and the South Australia region.
Adelaide is touted as Australia’s wine capital. But as well as the imbibable innovations, the state of South Australia harbours over 100 life science companies and generates more than AUD280 million in revenue per year. Among its ASX-listed firms is biopharmaceutical company Bionomics, which has a current market cap of over AUD230 million, a deal with Merck, and a pipeline of cancer and central nervous system drugs. Also headquartered in Adelaide is medtech developer LBT Innovations. During the AusBiotech Conference, LBT released US trial results that showed its automated culture plate analysis technology could “match the performance of a highly-trained microbiologist,” proving its potential at replacing this time consuming and repetitive process.
Within South Australia are more than 15 biotechnology-related research centres and institutes, five universities, and six main teaching hospitals. Among the universities based here is the University of Adelaide, which is ranked in the top 100 life science universities worldwide (Times Higher Education rankings). They are currently part of AstraZeneca’s academic research program, a collaboration wherein the university studies this global player’s drug compounds for their potential as new therapies.
Research precincts here cover everything from human reproductive health to agricultural biotech. For example, the Florey Precinct is a cluster that boasts strong R&D capabilities across biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, and physiology. Adelaide is also home to the largest agricultural research institute in the Southern Hemisphere, the Waite Research Institute. State-of-the-art infrastructure around the Waite Campus includes a multitude of agritech companies and research institutes, such as the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, the FOODplus research centre, and the Wine Innovation Cluster. Recently, South Australia has invested heavily to create the southern hemisphere’s largest health precinct, the South Australian Health and Biomedical Precinct, home to the newly opened South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute.
BioPacific Partners in South Australia
South Australia has several industry-focused groups. Included in this is Health Industry South Australia, formed in 2014 to support partnerships within industry groups in the region, using the new Biomedical Precinct as its flagship. BioSA is another government initiative that includes two business incubators, offers several grant programs, and provides local companies with expertise and marketing services.
With the agreeable mix of biotech and the Barossa Valley, South Australia is well worth a trip for both business and leisure. BioPacific Partners has strong relationships with companies and institutes operating across Australia, providing our Partners with an extended network of their own. We specialise in bridging between the best of innovation from this region and global markets so contact us if you think we can help you, or explore our Innovation Portfolio for real examples of our work.
By Emma Armitage, BioPacific Partners