19 October 2020
To mark our involvement in the Virtual MedTech Conference 2020 in Toronto recently, we hosted a special webinar with Austrade, for US and Canadian medical device companies who may benefit from running clinical trials in Australia.
The event focused on Australia’s capabilities to support device trials for cardiovascular health, with insights from the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance (ACvA), Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute and BIOTRONIK Australia.
Australia’s Consul General and Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner, Austrade Houston, Hon. Peter McGauran said that companies look to Australia to run clinical trials for a number of reasons.
"The reasons we keep hearing are not surprising, it is Australia's diverse population and it's locality in the Asia Pacific (region). The second is a streamlined regulatory system, and the third is strong IP protection," Mr McGauran added.
"I think you can add, that [Australia] has strong and vigorous industry and government support."
MTPConnect Managing Director & CEO, Dr Dan Grant explained that Australia has a sophisticated medical research environment.
“Australia is a unique environment at the moment. All of the world has been hit by COVID-19, however, Australia has had a particularly strong response to COVID-19, we've had only just under 30,000 confirmed cases* … and what this really means is that our clinical trial sites are now open for business again," Dr Grant said.
ACvA President, Professor Gemma Figtree talks about the support of the Australian Government and industry for research into cardiovascular health.
“What we've been doing is setting up really strong clinical trials platforms, big data platforms health economic platforms as well as an industry interface that makes it a very attractive place to be,” Prof Figtree said.
"We believe that Australia has got what it takes. And we're trying to build this opportunity as a position to really have a buzzing vibrant environment for researchers to be working strongly with industry. We have an enabling platform to accelerate translation of discovery in Australia, but also global discovery and this is where we actually embed in our university based hospitals."
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, Executive Director Professor Jason Kovacic, who was previously a Professor of Medicine & Acting Director of the Mount Sinai Cardiovascular Research Centre has recently returned from New York. Prof Kovacic said his colleagues in the United States, hold Australia in high esteem for is its ability to conduct high level quality, first in human clinical trials.
“As I am Board certified in both the States and in Australia, I can personally speak to the clinical excellence of Australia and the extremely high level of clinical training and abilities that our Australian physicians have," Prof Kovacic added.
“The healthcare system is exceptional in Australia. And I think is an ideal balance of healthcare access for all and high end healthcare and high end research. That's competitive at the highest levels and on the international stage.”
BIOTRONIK Australia Director Clinical & Regulatory Affairs, Mr Falko Thiele, whose company is headquartered in Germany, with offices in Sweden, the U.S., Singapore and Australia, added that Australia has a world-class clinical trials infrastructure.
“Obviously when you’re present around the world, that also means that your clinical trials program also spans the entire globe, and our business is firmly in the cardiovascular space,” Mr Thiele said.
“So a company that clearly has the capacity to conduct clinical trials all over the world, what influences our decision to run clinical trials in Australia? This decision is made every time we start a project, and we keep asking ourselves ‘is Australia still the best place, or do we need to go somewhere else?’. Fortunately, for me being in Australia, we still arrive at the same decision, that Australia is the best place to run clinical trials.”
We’d like to thank all presenters for joining our webinar last week, and you can now view the on-demand webinar below, or tune in via our podcast.
*as at 6 October 2020