Australia is a hotbed for clinical research and trials, with pharmaceutical and biotech sectors both embracing the country for R&D. Sizeable tax rebates have made Australia a haven for medical research, and corporations are increasingly leveraging contract research organisation (CRO) partners to conduct their trials in the country.
A CRO is a company that works independently from the corporation that is conducting the research. A pharmaceutical or biotech company contracts a CRO to lead the clinical trial. Across the industry, there has been an accelerated adoption of CROs over the last decade. In Australia, contractors can serve important functions, such as clearing some important research requirements.
Why R&D is Desirable in Australia
Australia has the most generous tax credit system for medical research and clinical trials in the world. Companies conducting R&D in the country receive a 43.5% rebate from the government. In basic terms, this means a clinical trial costing 100,000 AUD would see a tax credit of 43,000 AUD returned to the company.
How CROs Help R&D in Australia
While Australia is welcoming and generous towards clinical trials and other research, there are some important requirements to consider. Most of the limitations, such as various stipulations surrounding the trial, are generally easy to overcome. However, one requirement can be a more significant hurdle.
Specifically, to conduct a clinical trial in Australia, a company must have operations within the country. Under this requirement, an organisation would need employees and customers/contractors in Australia, either through a regional division or a subsidiary. For many corporations seeking clinical trials without a presence in the country, this can be an obvious sticking point.
That’s where contract research organisations come into the equation. While opening a subsidiary in Australia is simple and can be done within 48 hours, there are clear advantages to using a CRO. Chief among them is the fact that CROs have become an industry standard with most companies using contractors for clinical trials.
CRO partners can help a pharmaceutical or biotech company from outside Australia meet the legal requirements to conduct R&D within the country.
Choosing a CRO in Australia
Like in any other market, not all CROs are created equal and there are important considerations when choosing a contractor. For example, the CRO should be a fully registered Research Service Provider (RSP), a certification issued by AusIndustry. With an RSP, you will know the CRO has met the regulatory framework put in place by the Australian Government.
While CROs without an RSP registration are not illegal, the certification is a pointer that the company has met certain research standards.