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News & Trends - Biotechnology

Medicines Australia and AusBiotech welcome patent box legislation aimed to drive innovation

Health Industry Hub | February 11, 2022 |
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AusBiotech and Medicines Australia have welcomed the patent box legislation that was introduced to the Australian Parliament yesterday to provide a tax incentive for Australian medical innovations.

In the 2021-22 Budget, the Government announced that it would introduce a patent box regime for eligible corporate income associated with patented inventions in the medical and biotechnology sectors. Under Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Concession for Australian Medical Innovations) Bill 2022 income earned from new patents that have been developed in Australia will only be taxed at a concessional rate of 17%.

Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer, said that incentivising the commercialisation of innovative medical and biotechnology products in Australia through the patent box is an important first step in supporting home-grown innovation.

“This legislation is a welcome first step, and we will continue to encourage stronger and bolder incentives to promote and protect Australian innovation,” Ms de Somer said.

“The proposed design of the patent box, tabled in Parliament, could go further to attract multinational biopharmaceutical companies to invest in developing or manufacturing medicines and vaccines onshore. Australia still faces significant barriers, such as a smaller population and remote geographical location to other jurisdictions. We look forward to a continuing constructive partnership with the Government to increase the competitiveness of the patent box.

“Medicines Australia will be engaging with the Government on implementing this legislation and to introduce improvements, as appropriate.”

AusBiotech CEO, Lorraine Chiroiu, said “AusBiotech notes the progression of the patent box legislation as a positive first step. AusBiotech looks forward to the establishment of an expert working group, with industry representation, to support the implementation of the patent box scheme – in order for Australia to realise the benefits of this important incentive.

“This tax concession, from AusBiotech’s perspective, aims to support Australian medical innovators to be globally competitive, retain value creation from home-grown research and IP, and to support sovereign capability. Its purpose is to make it more genuinely viable for businesses to retain this value creation and manufacturing in Australia, including providing an incentive to industry to locate the associated high-value jobs at home.”

A well-designed patent box will support Australian manufacturers to remain competitive on an international scale by bridging the gap between R&D and commercialisation.

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