Drug discovery and development

Victoria is a leading generator and developer of new ideas contributing to the global pipeline of new drugs. Built on world-class research, a vibrant biotech sector, key R&D infrastructure and manufacturing expertise, the state is currently home to more than 180 companies in the biotechnology sector, employing about 20,000 people and recording over US$9.5 billion in revenue in 2014-15.

Victoria's strengths

The state has proven expertise across many stages of the drug discovery process. Victorian companies are well regarded and highly sought after by global pharmaceutical companies, with about 200 clinical and pre-clinical programs being currently run by Victorian biotechnology companies.

Research and development leader

Vibrant biotech sector

Melbourne's biotechnology sector is one of the most innovative in the world. Australia was ranked fourth in the world for biotechnology innovation in the 2015 Scientific American Worldview.

Recent success stories include:

  • Pharmaceuticals developer and manufacturer IDT announced FDA approval of its oral brain cancer drug Temozolomide. The commercial launch of the product will be the first of IDT's generics portfolio to enter the US market.
  • Mesoblast a global leader in regenerative medicine, announced the first cell therapy product to be launched in Japan through local partner JCR Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd.
  • Starpharma is developing a number of products based on its proprietary dendrimer technology both internally and via commercial partnerships, such as with global giant AstraZeneca.

Advanced and specialised manufacturing

Melbourne is home to more than 22 pharmaceutical manufacturers producing a variety of products for international markets using advanced manufacturing technologies, including:

  • Blood products
  • Biological therapies (antibodies, cells)
  • Biopharmaceuticals
  • Vaccines
  • Traditional pharmaceuticals (drugs)
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Cytotoxic and high potency active pharmaceutical ingredients