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Patient investors needed for biomedical businesses to cross the ‘valley of death’

A gap between early and late stage research — often called the ‘valley of death’ — exists between biomedical research and when the medical product is ready for commercial deployment by doctors and hospitals.

The commercialisation process for medical research and innovation is lengthy, involving clinical trials, regulatory and marketing approvals that can require hundreds of millions of dollars and often take a decade or more.

Early stage innovative biomedical businesses have faced declining venture capital equity investment over the past three years.

With the exception of the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, there are very few early stage investors willing to wait the decade to realise a return. Patient venture capital investors have potential for significant return.

CSL Limited looks at over 100 opportunities each year. Of these, 5-10% are chosen for full evaluation and then only a handful are selected for licensing.