New AusBiotech report shows increasing US investment in Australian biotechs

Australia continues to attract significant investment from US investors, with the total figure of US investment into Australian life science companies totaling US1.43 billion and a strong growth trend over the five-year period, between 2018-2022.

An analysis of investment data by AusBiotech shows 100 deals between US-based investors and Australian-headquartered life sciences companies over the analysis period.

Fourteen deals totaling US$139.058 million were reported in 2018, 21 deals totaling US$229.269 million in 2019, 15 deals totaling US$125.619 million in 2020, 26 deals totaling US$294.75 million in 2021, and 24 deals totaling US$642.341 million in 2022.

The data includes both private and ASX-listed companies across the following subsectors: biotech, therapeutics, drug discovery, and medtech/medical devices; digital health; medical imaging and monitoring/sensors; surgical, dental and other medical devices; and agribiotech companies, including bio-based products, medicines for animal health, microbial technology, feed supplements to reduce methane emissions, and technologies.

The two most common metrics when describing investment transactions are number of deals and quantum of funds. The most commonly reported transaction type involving eligible companies was private investment into public companies (PIPE) (37 transactions), followed by seed funding (22 transactions), early-stage VC (19 transactions) and late-stage VC (16 transactions).

Notably, there has been a rise of ‘digital health’ companies receiving and reporting significant investment from the US market over the five-year period, including companies  such as Eucalyptus (approx. US$71 million plus an undisclosed seed round), ResAPP Health (acquired by Pfizer for approx. US$121 million), (US$62 million of venture capital), Omniscient (US$30 million Series B), Sonder (Series A raise of US$16 million, and Series B US$24 million), Honeysuckle Health (formed as a JV for AUD$20 million), WeGuide (received a US$10 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and HeidiHealth (Series A US$5 million raise).

Grants, incubator and accelerator funding, and M&A have been excluded in the overall figure and analysis, however figures have still been separately tracked, with a reported US$60.3 million in grants and incubator/accelerator funds being awarded to Australian companies from the US over the five-year period.

AusBiotech worked in partnership with Austrade’s US health investment team, with data collected from Pitchbook and Orbis databases, and manual news searches. It is important to note not all deals disclosed a dollar value. This is particularly relevant for private company transactions where parties are not compelled to disclose commercial deals.

The data analysis is a pilot to report on metrics identified in the Biotechnology Blueprint, Australia’s decadal biotech strategy, in particular Metric 2.1 “Direct foreign investment in Australian companies”. By tracking foreign investment into the sector, it provides indicators of the industry’s local standing and Australia’s position as a global leader. It also provides an evidence base for supporting industry growth long-term.

To read the full report, click here.



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