CSL (ASX:CSL) share price struggles despite new government funding

The CSL share price is lower today amid a new initiative to support biotech start-ups.

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Shares in global biotech company CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) are struggling to find range today and are now inching 0.25% lower at $315.28.

Whilst there is no market sensitive information out of the blood plasma specialist’s corner today, it released a statement to the media regarding an upcoming venture.

CSL will team up with Melbourne University and The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) to create an incubator and wet space lab for biotech start-ups, with support from the Victorian government.

Here are the details.

Driving world class research

CSL announced today the group has secured funding to create a start-up incubator, with the goal of supporting and growing early-stage Australian biotech companies.

Funding has been secured alongside a contribution from Breakthrough Victoria, the independent investment company administering the Victorian government’s $2 billion Breakthrough Victoria Fund. 

The incubator will support start-ups by enabling them to “translate promising medical research into commercial outcomes”.

In practical terms, the incubator will take on small biotech companies engaged in early research that want to take their discoveries to the next stage of development.

One factor the incubator wants to address is “skill gaps in translating research into commercial products”.

Aside from “state of the art wet lab facilities”, the incubator will also provide a range of services including “commercialisation education programs, facilitated access to investors, industry mentoring, and access to service providers”.

Speaking on the announcement, CSL’s CEO Paul Perreault said:

As one of the world’s leading biotechnology companies, CSL is driven by our promise as a patient-focused organisation, so this partnership clearly aligns with our Values and Purpose. We are well positioned to support incubator residents, whose experience often lies purely within the lab, better understand commercial aspects of medicines development that may be foreign or new to them.

Why an incubator?

As CSL puts it, incubators reduce barriers to entry for start-ups. It’s all about cost reduction and incubators can offer a ‘one-stop shop’ by minimising expenditure on things otherwise cost-prohibitive to small companies.

CSL notes start-ups that are incubated have a much higher five-year survival rate and accelerated growth trajectory compared with standalone entities.

Speaking on the announcement, WEHI director Professor Doug Hilton said the collaboration will “help to build a generation of corporate and management-skilled scientists who have the knowledge and confidence to run a successful biomed or biotech company”.

The incubator is scheduled to open to start-ups in 2023 and will be able to accommodate up to 40 early-stage companies from around Australia.

CSL share price snapshot

It’s been a difficult past 12 months for the CSL share price which has lost 0.09% in that time. However, this year to date it has climbed almost 12% and is up around 7% this past month.

Despite this, over the past 12 months, CSL shares have lagged the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO).

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The  author Zach Bristow has no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended CSL Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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