Why Australia for Clinical Trials?

Why Not?

The hardest part about placing your clinical trials in Australia is the decision to consider Australia in the first place. Stepping outside a country you know, to one in another timezone? It’s so much easier to stick with where you know. However, taking a moment to explore the benefits of Australia as research location may actually save you time and money, especially in early phase clinical development.

Beyond the beaches, beer and barbecues which most associate with Australia, the country has an exceptional capacity and infrastructure for supporting clinical research, particularly early phase clinical trials.

The Australia government recognises the value of the medical technology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector as a significant contributor to – Australia economically in terms of manufacturing, exports, revenue and job creation and is committed to creating the environment, infrastructure, workforce, funding and culture for high quality medical research and innovation1. Examples of this include its funding of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)2, $20billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF)3, $400million National Research Infrastructure Roadmap4, National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)5, $1.3billion Health and Medical Industry Growth Plan6, support of a MTP growth centre (MTPConnect7), and the Research and Development Tax Incentive8which provides a tax offset for some costs of conducting eligible research and development activities in Australia.

Australia has a highly skilled, professional medical research workforce. 1360 new clinical trials were started in Australia in 2015, supported by a workforce of over 6900 people1, including some 37+ clinical trial networks9. Australia adheres to Good Clinical Practice Guidelines and has high standards of ethical and governance oversight. Standard clinical trial agreements for pharmaceutical and medical device trials speed up the process of contract negotiation. For more than 95% of trials, our regulatory system10facilitates an immediate start via a notification process post ethical review and approval, rather than a long and costly regulatory approval process.

The majority (89%) of the Australian community value health and medical research in Australia11, and around 60% have a willingness to participate in clinical trials12. Our multicultural population provides a platform for ensuring diversity in your clinical trial.

In its efforts to support the sector and stimulate Australia’s trial recruitment capacity, the Australian government recently launched a community awareness campaign called Helping Our Health13. Between May and Sept 2018, this campaign has reached more than 3 million people and increased searches for clinical trials on its website AustralianClinicalTrials.gov 380%14. This website aims to be a one-stop portal for industry, researchers, health care professionals and the public seeking information on clinical trials in Australia15.

While a full range of clinical trials are conducted in Australia, we have significant strengths in early phase research due to our supportive regulatory framework, high quality early phase trial sites and cost efficiencies compared to the US. A recent whitepaper found for early phase research, Australia is 28% cheaper than the US before tax incentives; and 60% cheaper after tax incentives16.

If you are interested in exploring the compelling reasons to run trials in Australia further, then Southern Star Research is ready to help. We are a specialist Contract Research Organisation (CRO) with a focus on early phase research providing a transparent, personal service focussed on quality. We employ the best, that proactively aim to value add to our clients and strive to complete projects ahead of schedule and budget. We treat our team and our clients with respect, resulting in low staff turnover, greater project continuity and meaningful, productive, long-term client relationships. We understand the environment and pressures for small to mid-sized biotechs, and aim to partner for your long-term trial and business success.

References (Click on the links below):

  1. MTPConnect: Clinical Trials in Australia: The Economic Profile and Economic Advantage of the Sector

  2. NHMRC Research Funding Statistics and Data

  3. Medical Research Future Fund

  4. 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap

  5. National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS)

  6. $1.3billion Health and Medical Industry Growth Plan

  7. MTPConnect

  8. The Australian Government R&D Tax Incentive

  9. Australian Clinical Trials Alliance: Report on the Activities and Achievement of Clinical Trial Networks in Australia 2004-2014 (published Nov 2015)

  10. Therapeutic Goods Administration Australian clinical trial handbook – The CTN and CTX schemes

  11. ResearchAustralia Australia Speaks 2018 Public Opinion Poll

  12. ‘Helping Our Health’ campaign

  13. Email from Australian Clinical Trials at nhmrc.gov.auto stakeholders, 13 Sep 2018.

  14. Australian Clinical Trials – Why Conduct a clinical trial in Australia

  15. Australia: Preferred Destination for Early Phase Clinical Trials: A Frost & Sullivan White Paper 2016

  16. Austrade: Industry Capability Report – Clinical Trials, Jan 2018.