As another Australian Chinese healthcare commercialisation series, this time the Melbourne HealthCare Drinks event was held on Friday 23rd February, co-organised with ACASE.

The Talk

The content-rich talk was “Leveraging Chinese Healthcare Capital and Resources”. Our invited speaker Rob Scott is Managing Director of Australia China Technology Incubator Pty Ltd (ACTI). Although arriving in Melbourne just one day prior from Shanghai,  Rob was full of enthusiasm and passion in his speech. His energy was contagious to the audience!

China has huge unmet healthcare needs. There are around 3,000 Australian health technology companies, and yet in 2016, there were only about 20 successful cross-border licensing or investment deals with China.

Why such a big contrast? How to overcome the challenges? One possible solution is incubators and accelerators, which Rob expanded in detail in his talk. The incubator-ACTI’s focus will be to ensure the best of Australian MedTech, e-health & other life science start-ups become China and investor ready.

Questions & Answers Following the Talk

On the Q&A that followed, delegates had heated discussions around Australian Chinese healthcare commercialisation.

China FDA Reform on Imported Drugs Clinical Trial Requirements

With the recent China FDA reform, when new drugs undergo international multi-centre clinical trials in China, companies can carry out a Phase I trial at the same time with other countries. Previously it was required that for this to happen, drugs needed to have already been registered overseas or have already entered Phase II or Phase III trials elsewhere. So this is good news for Western companies.

Language and Regulatory Challenges for Western Companies

Challenges exist for Australian companies entering into Chinese healthcare market. To be successful, Western companies need to understand and follow the language and regulatory requirements unique to China. They will find professional services helpful in Chinese English medical writing and medical translation.

Other Factors to be Mindful

Traditionally Australia was famous for mining and food, and healthcare sector is relatively new. Chinese investors tend to look for the U.S. and Europe start-ups before setting their eyes on Australia. They need to have understanding and confidence in Australian healthcare before investing.

Practical questions down the road were also raised, such as how to convert and transfer business income as Chinese Yuan into Australian Dollar due to China foreign exchange control.

The function closed after networking as usual, where connections were made, renewed or strengthened. Stay tuned for our next event!