Published 10-08-2017

A BOOSTER SHOT FOR NATIONAL ECONOMY

10-08-2017

A first-of-its-kind ‘fill-and-finish’ injectable medicines factory will set up shop in South Australia’s Tonsley innovation hub, after securing crucial set-up funds in an investment round.

InDaily revealed last year that biopharmaceutical company GEN1 hoped to create up to 200 new jobs and inject (no pun intended) around $650 million into the state economy over a decade with the establishment of its new operation – which would formulate base compounds into medicines to fill syringes, vials and cartridges as ready-to-use injectables – pending the establishment of a suitable site and international investment.

Both these caveats have now been met, after a funding round – with expected closing next month – raised $8 million through Australian private equity investors, local banks and the South Australian Government’s Health Industries Fund.

GEN1 Chief Financial Officer Kishen Vijayadass said the initial investment round “will support the company’s delivery of a factory in Adelaide that will benefit all Australians”.

“Adelaide has a vibrant, fast-growing life sciences community and the South Australian Government, through Health Industries SA, was very responsive to GEN1 and provided invaluable support,” he said.

The company says its planned 15,000sq m factory will be the first of its kind and scale in Australia, which currently imports injectable medicines for chronic conditions such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes.

However, the national market for injectable medication exceeds $10 billion annually and is growing by 15-20 per cent a year, according to IMS Health.

Health Industries SA CEO Marco Baccanti said GEN1 would be a boon for the state’s health system, with “the potential to save SA up to $70m a year in medication spending”.

“GEN1 will be in a great position to provide high-quality cost-effective products, and it will be doing so locally, right here in Adelaide,” he said.

In a company prospectus issued in May, GEN1 noted Australia was in the top 10 of the highest per capita healthcare spending countries in the world – and the highest in Asia.

“GEN1 is an early entrant to an untapped market, with a business model not in line with the multinationals’ strategy, and out of reach of most local manufacturers,” it said.

“GEN1 offer potential partners a low risk, low cost, quick entry to a high growth industry, with early stage cash flow, relatively fast [return on investment] and a sustainable business growth.”

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