Sector snapshot

  • Australia’s biotech industry is ranked fifth in the world, with numerous research organisations located across three main hubs in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
  • There are around 100 biotech companies listed on the ASX with a total market capitalisation of over $93.74 billion. It is the largest listed biotechnology sector as a proportion of GDP in the world.
  • Market leaders in the sector include CSL, Resmed and Cochlear.
  • In 2016, the Australian biotech industry attracted deals totalling more than $2 billion and $1.1 billion in capital raisings.
  • The industry has developed a code of best practice for reporting in conjunction with the ASX, giving investors confidence in reporting, much the same as the JORC Code for mining companies.


  • With the end of the mining boom and decline of traditional manufacturing in Australia, there is now a greater focus on the life sciences sector as a significant economic contributor.
  • The Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda includes a $250+ million Biomedical Translation Fund to provide targeted support to technologies in mid to late stage development.
  • Due to the relative lack of local early stage funding for pre-clinical or early stage projects, there continues to be a flow of these projects going to the US for funding.
  • Conversely, due to the minimum size required to list on NASDAQ, we still see smaller US companies coming to Australia to list on ASX.

Hive Legal’s work in this sector

  • Assisted biotech company AdAlta Limited on its oversubscribed AU$10 million IPO and listing on the ASX, to provide funds to take their lead drug candidate to Phase 1 human clinical trials.
  • Assisting Nexvet Biopharma as Australian counsel in its takeover by Zoetis, including obtaining relief from ASIC to enable the participation of Australian shareholders in the takeover.
  • Assisted CSL Limited in acquiring the global rights to manufacture and commercialise RAPIVAB – an approved influenza treatment.
  • Engaged by a number of public and private biotech companies on IPOs, capital raisings, redomiciles, restructures and commercial contracts and compliance matters.

If you would like further information or have any questions, please contact us.

Joanna Green

Joanna Green