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Bio Technology : July 2009
AusBioFEATURE In the last year, three discoveries have fundamentally altered how we think of the code of life and what we can achieve using it: Adult cells can become pluripotent; cells can be reprogrammed; and we are learning to write the code from scratch. “The life code is a lever and perhaps the most powerful instrument human beings have ever used. It will make the Industrial Revolution seem simple, even quaint. It will become the world’s dominant language, and all of us will have to be literate to thrive,” he said. So where to next? On a global level, research by Deloitte7 points to a fundamental shift in the life-sciences business model and several areas, where companies will need to transform, including talent management, regulatory affairs, sales and marketing, and R&D. Of the survey respondents, 76% felt that major changes would be needed in some or all parts of the organisation in order to face future risks. Demonstrating product value early in the commercialisation process (44%) – as well as working closely with patients, clinicians, and academics to engage regulators (43%) – were identified as the strategies most likely to help cultivate good relationships with regulators and reimbursement authorities, and speed up approval procedures. In Australia, attention has now turned to the clarification and implementation of the 2009 Budget measures, including the Commonwealth Commercialisation Institute. The debate on gene patents has come to the fore recently and is set to amplify as the Senate completes it inquiry and reports by the last sitting day of 2009. It is hoped that the outcomes will provide some clarity for industry and researchers alike, as public policy seeks to catch up with, appropriately regulate and facilitate our fast-paced scientific developments. The world needs biotechnology; the fundamentals have not changed and the industry in Australia, although challenged, is essential to future generations to bring needed technologies to the community. 1. The Commonwealth of Australia (DIISR) 2009, BIO 2009 Special Edition of Biotech Business Indicators, May 2009. 2. Roy Morgan, 2006, quoted by The Australian Stem Cell Centre, http://www.stemcellcentre.edu.au/ 3. McNaughton, Nick, 4 May 2009, published on Anthill Online, http://anthillonline.com/ 4. BioShares, 2009, Edition 295, 2 January 2009. 5. Innovation Dynamics, 2008, BioIndustry Review – Australian and New Zealand. 6. Enriquez, Juan, McKinsey, 2009, What Matters, ‘How biotech with reshape the global economy’, 23 Feb 2009. 7. Deloitte, 2009, The future of the life sciences industries: Transformation amid rising risk. Volume 19 • Number 2 • July 2009 Australasian BioTechnology 9