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Bio Taiwan to help Aust medical innovation connect with Asia

24 July, 2008

Austrade, the Australian Biotechnology Industry Organisation (AusBiotech), and trade promotion agencies from the Australian states of NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia will sponsor an Australian National Stand at Bio Taiwan 2008 (24-27 July) in Taipei.

North East Asia’s largest biotechnology trade show, Bio Taiwan 2007 attracted around 77,000 attendees with the Australian stand attracting over 400 trade and institutional visitors.
Austrade’s Taipei-based senior trade commissioner Yvonne Chan said the event continued to offer an outstanding opportunity to introduce Australian biotechnology innovation across North East Asia.
“Taiwan and North East Asia are becoming particularly important destinations for Australian biotechnology innovation. Last year, around 60 Australian companies formed alliances with Asian biotechnology partners, ranging from major players such as CSIRO to some of Australia’s most innovative emerging companies,” Chan said.
“Taiwan has invested more than A$6 billion since 2002 to enhance the global position of its rapidly growing biotech sector – regarded as a star industry for their economy in the 21st Century,” Chan said.
Austrade’s industry team leader for Health, Biotechnology and Wellbeing, Janelle Casey, said Taiwan was also a great stepping-stone into neighbouring markets.
“Japan, Australia’s top export destination, boasts a $73 billion pharmaceutical market and the highest per capita spending on healthcare in the world, estimated to reach $8.5 trillion by 2010. The Japanese Government is also aiming to boost the value of its biotechnology industries to $25.3 billion by 2010.
“China’s total spending on research and development as a percentage of GDP has doubled in 10 years, from $20.7 billion in 1995 to $114.5 billion in 2004, now ranking second only to the USA. South Korea, Australia’s third biggest export destination has set a goal to make its biotech sector the largest in the world by 2016.
“Australia is home to 470 core biotechnology companies, 49% in human therapeutics, and a string of world-class medical research organisations. A recent Economist Intelligence Unit report also ranked Australia first in a group of leading research and development countries for clinical trials,” Casey said.   
Australia has seven Nobel laureates in medicine and one in biochemistry.  The most recent winners Professor Barry Marshall and Robin Warren recently visited Taiwan in 2007 and earlier this year.
Dr. Susan Pond, Chairperson of AusBiotech, will also provide a detailed insight into Australian biotechnology strengths at the plenary session of the Bio Business Asia Conference on 22 July.
Austrade Taiwan helped one of Australia’s leading innovative biotech companies, Cochlear Ltd, secure the company’s largest ever order for leading edge implant devices to help children with hearing impairment in Taiwan and China.
Victoria’s CSL Bioplasma, a division of CSL Ltd., were also assisted by Austrade Taipei to secure a lucrative multi-million deal for the company’s bioplasma services.

Their products are now being used to help Taiwan implement a policy of plasma self-sufficiency, a World Health Organization recommendation to ensure an adequate, safe and secure supply of life-saving blood products.
“After a highly successful Bio Taiwan 2007, we are looking forward to an expanded Australian presence in 2008,” Chan said.
“With Austrade’s support a major delegation of Taiwanese biomedical companies and institutes will also attend AusBiotech 2008, Australia’s most significant biotechnology event (26-29 October).”
In the 2007-08 financial year Austrade assisted 32 biomedical companies to achieve 58 export sales in North East Asia totalling over A$92 million.
Austrade is also actively seeking participants for Bio Korea (8-10 October) and Bio Japan (15-17 October).

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