Sir Gustav Nossal highlights Australian & NZ biotech strengths

Sir Gustav Nossal highlights Australian & NZ biotech strengths

New Zealand Victoria Business Group (NZVBG) CEO Luncheon, 24th February 2010

The New Zealand Victoria Business Group NZVBG identifies itself as “the peak body connecting New Zealand and Victorian business leaders”. It targets senior management of organisations which do business in New Zealand, or otherwise have an interest in trans-Tasman business.

Davies Collison Cave was pleased to host the New Zealand Victoria Business Group (NZVBG), CEO Luncheon with Sir Gustav Nossal as the guest speaker. The luncheon was attended by 28 guests including; Tania Obranovich, John Hughes, Helen Mutimer and Nick Holmes and many other high profile guests.

The guest speaker Sir Gustav Nossal thoroughly engaged the audience. Sir Gus spoke about the major trends in biotech globally. These included the unusual pressures on health product pricing, particularly in the USA; the steep rise in ethical and societal concerns; the increasing prominence of expensive platform technologies; the prominence of monoclonal antibodies; and the slowness of genomics to pay off.

Turning to Australian and New Zealand matters, Sir Gus highlighted the particularly strong role of agricultural and veterinary biotechnology; the continuing reliance on spin-outs from universities and research institutes as almost the sole source of new ideas; the undue dependence on Commonwealth and State Government support; and the funding possibilities for Australian collaboration with New Zealand. Sir Gus then gave an outline of a series of firms, large and small, each of which illustrated aspects of both the promise and the problems in Australian and New Zealand biotechnology.