30 March 2023

Agility and innovation make Australia’s Linear a top clinical trials host

Linear undertook more than a dozen COVID-19 trials and prophylactic studies across a range of therapeutic modalities from 2020–2022. One of these was with Stanford University to trial an antibody to prevent COVID-19.

‘We worked around the clock with the Stanford researchers to help design the protocol,’ says Rogers. ‘Then we obtained ethics committee approval within 15 days, recruited patients and had the trial running within 20 days. It was the quickest clinical trial Linear has ever done. It is probably one of the quickest clinical trials in history, from the point of engagement to clinical execution and the delivery of data.’

Linear works with Bellberry, an organisation providing scientific and ethical review of human research projects. During the pandemic, Bellberry had an accelerated approval process for COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines.

‘Australia’s pragmatic regulatory environment is one of our key strengths,’ says Rogers. ‘The Therapeutic Goods Administration delegates trial reviews to human-research ethics committees like Bellberry. This speeds approval times so clinical trials can be set up quickly but safely.’

Austrade paves entry into China

Almost all of Linear’s clients are international pharmaceutical or biotech firms. Most of them are from the US, followed by China and the EU. Rogers says Austrade was instrumental in helping Linear enter the Chinese market in 2017.

‘We’ve had tremendous support from Austrade over years,’ says Rogers. ‘The on-the-ground support in China was an important aspect of our growth in that market. Their staff went above and beyond. I would happily recommend Austrade to any business wanting to expand their overseas markets.’

A man in a suit stands in a clinical research hospital ward room

Keeping innovation on the agenda

The past few years have seen major changes in therapeutics and approaches to clinical trials.

‘We’re seeing new molecules being tested, including bi-specific antibodies and drugs that target certain mutations based on genomics,’ say Rogers. ‘COVID-19 saw a shift to new treatments for infectious diseases and respiratory viruses. We’re seeing more targeted therapeutics, particularly mRNA therapeutics and cell therapies.

‘The world made a vaccine for COVID-19 in 12 months, thanks to research, industry and government working together,’ says Rogers. ‘At Linear, we want to keep pushing the innovation agenda. It’s the only way we can keep creating drugs that save lives.’

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