Manufacturing opportunities in cell and gene therapies highlighted in Inquiry submission

Responding to the Economics References Committee’s Inquiry into the Australian Manufacturing Industry Australia’s opportunity to harness the important and emerging cell and gene therapies, or regenerative medicines (RM), sector was promoted through the joint submission of AusBiotech, Cell Therapies Ltd, Research Strategies Australia, and MTPConnect.

The submission highlighted that whilst complex and nuanced, unique cell and gene therapies have the potential to reduce the burden of disease significantly, leading to better health outcomes for Australians, higher participation rates in the workforce, and to impact the economy on a large scale.

The Senate Inquiry is considering the Australian manufacturing industry; specific regard includes: current and future economic growth drivers, capacity, national resilience, new areas Australia can establish itself as a global leader, and the role that government can play in assisting our domestic manufacturing industry, including R&D, attracting investment, supply chain support, government procurement, trade policy, and skills and training.

The substantial growth in the RM sector has revealed a significant manufacturing capacity shortage. Right now, global manufacturing capacity is not meeting demand and it is approximated that five-times the current capacity is required.

Building Australia’s sovereign manufacturing capability for complex and advanced RM Therapies will ensure equitable access to cutting-edge treatments for Australian patients, create new jobs now and for the future, and develop a highly skilled workforce.

Commercially-scaled resources will also build new export markets and deflect the prevailing trend of establishing advanced manufacturing in lower-cost markets. By leveraging Australia’s reputation for delivering high-quality, complex, and safe medical products, as well as our highly-skilled workforce, we can become the manufacturing hub for the region and deliver potentially life-changing treatments to patients, both in Australia, and the broader Asia Pacific region.

The joint submission utilised insights from and promoted the work of the AusBiotech-led Consortium project that has been developing resources to build the foundations of RM in Australia.

The Senate referred the matter of the Australian manufacturing industry to the Economics References Committee for inquiry and report by 24 November 2021.

Read AusBiotech’s joint submission here.

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