An Emerging Research Centre
In line with Government`s vision to broaden the economic space, the Economic Development Board has identified medical biotechnology as a sector of immense potential with high value-added activities.
Mauritius has a nascent clinical research industry which presents enormous potential for expansion. The introduction of the Clinical Trials Act in 2011, has led to significant emphasis on clinical research. The medical biotechnology sector accounts for a turnover in excess of MUR 2.3 billion and there are currently 5 Contract Research Organizations operating on the island and carrying out trials on various pathologies such as hepatitis, diabetes, HIV etc.
Mauritius represents a multi-ethnic, drug naive population. With infectious and lifestyle diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, hypertension prevailing in the countries and countries of the region, there is great opportunity for running clinical trials.
More than 1000 trials carried out on cosmetic and pharmaceutical products
No. of players: 25
Total employment: 1,275
- Setting up of a Clinical Research Organization (CRO) /Clinical Research
There is a rising incidence of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and hypertension amongst others in Mauritius. In this regard, the country provides an ideal platform for clinical research.
Clinical trials (Phase I– Phase IV) are performed in partnership with specialists in the field (gynecologists, diabetologists, cardiologists, dermatologists, etc.). As at date, more than 30 clinical trials have been run on the island.
- Pre-clinical Research
Proclamation of the Animal Welfare (Experiment on Animals) Act 2017 has opened up the full chain of pharmaceutical research and will enable companies involved in breeding to expand into pre-clinical research in collaboration with biotech companies. The Mauritian cynomolgus macaque, because of its insular habitat exhibits remarkable peculiarities is highly desired by researchers. These primates are known to be virus-free and genetically homogenous, which make them also very effective in pre-clinical research.
- Research Laboratories & Nutraceuticals
Mauritius has a rich and diverse flora, with more than 670 species of flowering plants of which 315 are endemic. Furthermore, the East African region is already considered as a biodiversity hotspot. This represents a tremendous opportunity for the development of a nutraceutical industry. Pharmaceutical industry per se has failed to grow substantially due to massive R&D investment and non-competitiveness for generic medicine. Nutraceuticals which is basically food additive and wellbeing materials (moringa, Betel, Rodrigues lemon leaves, etc.) can open new avenues of research and product development.
- accelerated depreciation of 50% in respect of capital expenditure incurred on R&D, that is the investment cost is fully amortised in 2 years
- a double deduction in respect of qualifying expenditure on R&D directly related to the entity’s trade or business and provided the R&D is carried out in Mauritius.
- Exemption of registration duty on acquisition of immovable property in the lifesciences sector
- VAT exemption on construction of medical R&D centers
- VAT exemption on plants and equipment
- 8 years tax holiday for companies involved in manufacture of nutraceuticals and pharmaceutical products