R&D incentives attract US oncology drug specialist Moleculin to Australia

10 Aug 2018

Clinical-stage pharmaceutical company Moleculin Biotech has established a wholly owned Australian subsidiary – Moleculin Australia – in Sydney, where it plans to continue its focus on developing oncology drug candidates.

‘The Australian Government provides a very aggressive incentive for research and development carried out in their country,’ says Walter Klemp, Chairman and CEO of Moleculin Biotech, in a company media release.

‘Companies like Moleculin with less than A$20 million group turnover qualify for a refundable tax offset for expenditure on clinical trials. ‘Having an Australian subsidiary provides a great opportunity to speed up preclinical development and reduce the overall cost of our continued drug development efforts,’ says Klemp.

Moleculin Australia has engaged a preclinical research company in Victoria, which has already begun preclinical toxicology testing of WP1732, Moleculin’s fully water-soluble STAT3 inhibitor.

‘Based on preclinical testing, we believe the discovery of WP1732 has the potential to be a breakthrough discovery for rare and difficult-to-treat cancers,’ says Klemp in a second media release.

‘As a result of our preclinical testing, we have received multiple requests to commence clinical trials and we are pleased to be taking the next steps in preparing for the appropriate clinical work.

‘By utilising our subsidiary in Australia and the attractive R&D tax credits it offers, we can accelerate the preclinical work of WP1732 and maintain a strong cash balance. We believe this will allow us to complete our investigational new drug–enabling work and meet Food and Drug Administration submission requirements before year-end, while also reducing our total cost of development.’

Founded in the US in 2015 and listed on NASDAQ, Moleculin Biotech is based in Houston, Texas.

Australia is a world leading destination for high-quality clinical trials and the federal government invests to support the sector. Each year, more than 1,000 new clinical trials for medicines and medical devices commence in Australia, which attract an annual investment of approximately A$1.1 billion. Read the Austrade Clinical Trials Industry Capability Report to find out more.