Another biotech boom? These Aussie giants are spending up big
Medtech giant ResMedhas been spending up big on advanced manufacturing and digital health to chase post-pandemic growth, as Australia’s biotech heavyweights start pouring cash into projects for the next decade.
Over the past few weeks, the sleep treatments maker has launched a major manufacturing hub in Singapore and closed a €958.6 million ($1.4 billion) acquisition of German out-of-hospital software platform Medifox Dan.
ResMed chief executive Mick Farrell says the latest investments “send a big signal to the market”.Credit:The San Diego Union-Tribune
ResMed chief Mick Farrell said the investments put the business in the right position to dominate the sleep treatments market for the next five to 10 years after riding two years of huge demand for its ventilator products.
“It sends a big signal to the market that ResMed is invested for the future and invested in growth,” he said.
The purchase of Medifox Dan, a German software-as-a-service business that provides tools for providers of out-of-hospital health treatments, bulks up the company’s digital health portfolio.
The new Singapore manufacturing site has the capacity to produce sleep treatment products for the company’s entire customer base, Farrell said. The company is hoping to be able to ramp up its product output further in coming months as supply chain constraints on the semiconductors it needs for sleep apnoea products start to ease.
“The plant has the capacity to take care of every single one of the patient’s needs, right now. Of course, we’re rate limited by the supply chain and electronic components coming in, [but] it will get better throughout the fiscal year,” Farrell said.
ASX-listed healthcare stocks have been hit hard throughout 2022 and the sector is down by close to 5 per cent for the year-to-date. Despite this, Australia’s largest players have been splashing the cash on research and manufacturing projects designed to give them a global edge now that many of the challenges of COVID-19 are in the rearview mirror.
Blood plasma products maker CSL is building an $800 million cell-based influenza manufacturing facility at Tullamarine in Melbourne and surprised the market last month with a $US200 million ($295 million) licensing deal for a new pipeline of mRNA vaccines from US biotech Arcturus.
CSL made AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in Australia under licence but now that this project is completed, the company is turning to other vaccine projects. The general manager of its influenza business CSL Seqirus, Steve Marlow, said last month that the deal with Arcturus “also provides a pathway to offer a COVID-19 booster, providing another differentiated option to healthcare providers and governments around the world”.
US vaccine giant Moderna has also been focused on long-term growth in the region this year, with the company soon to break ground on its messenger-RNA vaccine facility in Melbourne.
The company’s chief executive, Stephane Bancel, has said that the business is investing in Australia for the long term, with the option of expanding manufacturing beyond respiratory virus shots to other products in the company’s portfolio if they come to market.
Farrell said it was time for companies like his to show that the pandemic had not distracted them from long-term growth ambitions.
“ResMed has been investing R&D dollars during this crisis, and I hope to get the innovation to market as soon as we can,” he said.
The Business Briefing newsletter delivers major stories, exclusive coverage and expert opinion. Sign up to get it every weekday morning.
Most Viewed in Business
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article