Leading biotechnology executive Dr Deborah Rathjen has called on the industry to look at the opportunities that exist in a post-GFC environment, not just to focus on the negatives.
Dr Rathjen, CEO of Bionomics, states that while the environment remains challenging for start-ups, different opportunities present themselves.
“What we’ve seen over the last number of years is that while sources of funding are scarce, there is an increased opportunity to partner with companies, either through joint projects or mergers and acquisitions.”
Dr Rathjen, who will talk at a CEO leader’s forum at the upcoming AusBiotech 2012 national conference about the greatest challenges facing the sector over the next five years, states partnerships and diversification are vital to long term stability and growth.
“One thing I think that has been paramount in Bionomics’ success has been our focus on developing a deep pipeline and a broad range of commercial partners. We’ve found this has meant we’re less likely to be affected by individual medicines failing to gain approval or the commercial challenges of a single partner.”
As well as these commercial challenges, Dr Rathjen believes the need for broader community engagement by the biotechnology sector is a key challenge over the next five years. She states an understanding of the industry’s role in the broader health community is a vital element of future growth.
“I think events such as the AusBiotech national conference are great in that they grant us to really build a more comprehensive understanding in the general community about what we do. This is something we need to continue to work on as an industry. Building greater community awareness of the role we play, from our role in economic growth through to medicine discovery, will be beneficial when it comes to dealing with future challenges.”
Dr Rathjen is well qualified to comment on the future of the industry, having been involved in biotechnology for more than 20 years and working with Bionomics since 2000. The Adelaide-based company has benefitted from this focus on partnerships and diversification in recent times.
“Bionomics has made three major acquisitions in the last five years but has also developed partnership arrangements with a number of companies, both locally and globally, in a wide range of areas such as medicine discovery, manufacturing and clinical trial management. We certainly think this is the model to follow into the future.”
Dr Rathjen will discuss this and other issues at the CEO leader’s forum on 1st of November at AusBiotech 2012. For more information visit www.ausbiotechnc.org
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Submited at Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 at 8:15 am on Uncategorized by ethan
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