The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), after extensive
industry consultation has just issued a revised "Code of Best
Practice" for Reporting by Life Science Companies (Code).
While adoption of the new Code is not mandatory, it provides a
very useful tool for listed life sciences companies to discharge
their continuous disclosure obligations under the ASX Listing Rules
(which have the force of law pursuant to the Corporations
Importantly, those disclosure obligations under the ASX Listing
Rules have not changed, but the Code assists in providing guidance
as to how listed life science companies should comply with their
continuous disclosure obligations.
The Code aims to incorporate international best practice in
reporting – to maintain and enhance the reputation and
standing of Australian listed life science companies
internationally. The Code addresses the complexities of this
industry with the adoption of appropriate standardised terminology
and context for disclosure to investors and the market. This
guidance on industry specific disclosure is not unusual and
reflects the ASX's approach to publishing (with effect from 1
January 2013) new reporting requirements for listed resource
It should lead to greater uniformity in disclosure by life
science companies and assist the market in assessing those
disclosures. The recommended disclosures range from R&D,
clinical trials, regulatory and reimbursement matters, IP and
statutory exclusivity rights, licensing, manufacturing, key staff,
periodic reporting of activities and financial reporting –
with useful guidance for biotech, agricultural and medical device
Failure to adopt the Code in terms of disclosure may lead to
regulatory questions as to whether the relevant life science
company has discharged its continuous disclosure obligations and
also whether its market disclosures/announcement are accurate and
While not mandatory, it is a must read for all life science
companies and sets a new bar in terms of disclosure standards.
Liability was apportioned between the VMO, Dr.Brown, and the hospital on an 80/20 basis in favour of the hospital.
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