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Australasian Biotechnology (backfiles)
AusBiotech
ISSN: 1036-7128
Vol. 9, No. 2, 1999
Bioline Code: au99005
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Australasian Biotechnology (backfiles), Vol. 9, No. 2, 1999

 en News, Company News, Bio Shares, Issues, ABA Submissions, ABA Branch News, Books, Meetings

Abstract

Australasian Biotechnology,
Volume 9 Number 2, May/June 1999, pp.66-86, 101-123

News, Company News, Bio Shares, Issues, ABA Submissions, ABA Branch News, Books, Meetings

Code Number:AU99005

PRESIDENT'S REPORT

In the last two issues of the Journal, I have set out to focus in the President's Report on identifying the activities that the ABA Directors have been addressing on behalf of the ABA.

Successful Cooperative Research Centres

Senator Nick Minchin, Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, announced in April the 26 recipients of the latest Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) funding round.

With the inclusion of the four new centres announced today, there are now 67 CRC's across Australia. All centres fit within the six targeted industry sectors - manufacturing technology, information and communications technology, mining and energy, agricultural and rural-based manufacturing, environment and medical science and technology.

Directory of Biotech Organisation

Biotechnology Australia

The Australian Government's Department of Industry Science & Resources recently re-launched its Biotechnology Section to provide an interactive link between Government, research and commerce.

World's First Treatment For Influenza Now Available In Australia

The Australian-developed world leading treatment for the influenza virus - RelenzaTM - is now available on prescription from pharmacists across the country. Australians suffering the flu this winter will be first in the world to have access to this revolutionary new product which will help combat the often devastating effects of the influenza virus.

Major Boost for R&D in Victoria

The Government's budget allocation of $22.5 million to establish a Commonwealth Technology Port at Melbourne Dockland will provide a significant boost for research and development in Victoria, the Minister for Communications, the Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, said recently. "The park will focus on industrial research and is likely to generate $400 million in new investment over the next 10 years, with significant flow-on employment benefits for Victoria and the rest of the nation well into the next century," Senator Alston said. "Funding for this important four-year initiative is provided in full in this year's budget - delivering in full the Government's A Vision for Excellence election promise."

Natural Pathogens Show Promise for Termite Control

The Forest and Wood Products Research and Development Corporation and CSIRO are collaborating to develop an environmentally friendly alternative to termite control in urban areas.

Scientists at CSIRO Entomology have identified strains of the naturally-occurring fungus Metarhizium which have the potential to control termites in buildings and other built structures.

Monsanto will wait for Studies of Disputed New Gene Technology

(from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch23 April 99)

Monsanto's "terminator technology" may not be terminated, but neither will it be germinated soon because of the global furor it has caused. St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. announced Thursday that it would not market the controversial new gene technology until the completion of studies that examine the environmental, economic and social effects.

Business Wire

Business Wire, the global leader in news distribution, and Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the world's leading biotechnology publisher, announced recently a strategic alliance to provide the biotech and health care industries with a unparalleled media distribution and research capability.

The new venture, "BioWire2K.com," will capitalize on the proven strengths of its partners. Business Wire's comprehensive distribution network to the international news media, global investment community, the Internet, online services and databases will serve as the backbone of the new service.

New Advance in HIV Treatment Monitoring

Bayer Diagnostics announced recently that it has received the first Australian Government regulatory approval to supply a new generation of tests for measuring the HIV virus in patients at risk of developing AIDS - which will ensure a significant advance in patient treatment management.

Sex-change Barrumundi Cause Headaches

Barramundi that prematurely change their sex to become females are causing big headaches for aquaculture farmers.

All barrumundi are born as males and normally change to females when they are about 6 years old. But young males selected to be breeding stock at the farms are changing prematurely, when they are only two years old. It isn't known why they change, but farmers need an established stock of breeding males to improve the quality and output of the fish they sell.

Developing A Vaccine Against Glandular Fever

Known as the "kissing disease" glandular fever is one illness many teenagers are keen to avoid! But it may not be long before glandular fever is under the control of science. Researchers at the CRC for Vaccine Technology (CRC-VT) are working towards a vaccine for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the virus responsible for glandular fever and other diseases like nasopharyngeal cancer.

Address to Macquarie Bank

Excepts From Dr. Michael Wooldridge, Minister For Health And Aged Care - 19 May 1999

"On capital market value, some seven out of the top 25 companies in the world are health related. Ten years ago that figure was just two, and in ten years' time, it will be 12 or 13 out of the top 25 companies.

In Australia the sheer size and scale of health is often not properly understood. Over the last decade we spend around 8% of GDP on health.

US Launch for Australian Flower Technology

Florigene, a leading flower biotechnology company, launched its MoonshadowTM flower into the US market at the Super Floral Show in Kansas City in June. MoonshadowTM is a new carnation flower with a unique violet colour.

Florigene CEO, Peter Molloy, said the new carnation followed many years of research and development and was the first of a range of new flowers incorporating the company's patented blue gene.

Preliminary Study Shows The Utility Of Roche For Technology For Screening HCV, HIV and HBV In Single Assay

A preliminary study shows, for the first time, the utility of Roche's first-generation automated PCR system to screen HCV, HIV and HBV blood donations in one single multi-plex assay.

NRMRC Releases Draft Genetic Testing Document

Genetic testing has the potential to greatly improve the health of all Australians through better diagnosis and treatment, screening programs, and early prevention strategies.

BioResearch Ireland Signs Research Agreement With US Company, Inhibitex

BioResearch Ireland (BRI), the national agency commercialising biotechnology, recently announced that it has signed an exclusive licensing and research agreement with Inhibitex, Inc., A US biopharmaceutical company. The agreement focuses on the prevention and treatment of infections by Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium which causes skin and wound infections and is a major cause of hospital acquired infections worldwide. In cases, where the pathogen has developed resistance to antibiotics, it can cause life threatening septicaemia. Forty percent of all deaths from hospital acquired infections are caused by Staphylococcal infections.

Business Opportunities in Malaysia

A high level Trade and Investment mission, led by the Honourable Dato'Seri Rafidah Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia, will visit Australia from 1 - 8 August, 1999 to promote and further strengthen the business and investment links between Australia and Malaysia. The mission members will include private sector representatives and senior officials from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysian Industrial Development Authority, Malaysian Trade and Development Corporation and State Governments.

Science Queensland '99 To Be Held In Brisbane

The Scientific Suppliers Association of Australia Inc. (SSAA) announces that the Science Queensland '99 Exhibition will be held from the 9th - 11th November 1999 in the Commerce Building, RNA, Brisbane.

New Leadership for the Australian Proteome Analysis Facility

The Australian Proteome Analysis Facility (APAF), under newly appointed Director Dr Gary Cobon, has its sights set on the future.

APAF is a Major National Research Facility set up in 1998 with Commonwealth funds of $7 million. It provides cutting edge proteomic research and analytical services to the Australian scientific community.

Westmead Biomedical Business Park

Parramatta could become a world centre for the biomedical industry, following an announcement by the GROW Employment Council to conduct a $100,000 feasibility study into the development of a Biomedical Business Park near Westmead Hospital.

The GROW study, to be jointly funded by the Federal Department of Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business and the NSW Department of State and Regional Development, was launched by Federal MP for Parramatta, Ross Cameron, at the University of Western Sydney in March 1999.

Death of the Clever Country

Australian technology companies are calling it "the death of the clever country". The Federal Opposition says it is "a national emergency". Venture capitalists warn it is at the point of "do or die". R&D in Australia is at the crossroads, according to a report by Nick Tabakoff and Tony Featherstone to be published in BRW on 2nd July.

Agritech Mission to Israel

Mr Phil Scanlan AM, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, Bonlac Foods, will lead a large Australian business delegation to Israel to attend the Agritech '99 Exhibition from 2 - 8 September.

Canadian PM to Visit Australia

Trade Mission Raises Biotechnology Profile

Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien will lead a Team Canada trade mission to Australia and Japan. The mission will visit Melbourne from September 19-21 and Sydney from September 22-24. Team Canada is a uniquely Canadian approach to expand its trade and other linkages with its key political and economic partners. This visit will provide a not-to-be-missed opportunity for Australian firms to expand on an already successful trade and investment collaboration or establish new business links with Canadian counterparts.

COMPANY NEWS

AMRAD Announces Strategic Plan

AMRAD Corporation Limited (ASX:AML) has announced its 1999/2004 Strategic Plan which lays the foundation for near-term growth in shareholder value. AMRAD has identified that increased shareholder value can be generated by AMRAD Pharmaceutical R&D, AMRAD Pharmaceuticals and AMRAD ICT.

Biota Announces European Union Approval For Relenza

Biota Holdings Limited (ASX:BTA) has announced that Glaxo Wellcome has received regulatory approval to market Relenza7 (zanamivir) for the treatment of influenza, in all the countries of the European Union. The regulatory approval is under the European Commission's Mutual Recognition Process.

New Company Specialising in Solving Drug Delivery and Availability Problems

LIPOXEN Ltd, a new company based on technology acquired from The School of Pharmacy, University of London, and entering the rapidly growing drug delivery systems market, was announced today. The company's lead proprietary technology is based around liposomes to optimise the activity of the new DNA vaccines which are emerging as the next major advance in vaccines and immunisation. A second technology owned by the company includes a new method to prolong the active life of protein and peptide drugs and small molecules using polymers of the naturally occurring molecule sialic acid. LIPOXEN Ltd will apply its novel methods to enhance the delivery and availability of drugs after administration as well as addressing problems where adequate levels of drugs cannot be achieved without intolerance, or the maintenance of therapeutic levels after administration is difficult.

Faulding Acquisition Builds Brand Focus

International pharmaceutical and healthcare company, F H Faulding & Co Limited (Faulding), has announced the acquisition of Bullivants Natural Health Products Pty Ltd (Bullivants), thereby consolidating its position in the fast growing vitamin and health supplement market. The Brisbane-based Bullivants has the largest product range in the nutraceutical category in Australia and has strong brands in both the pharmacy and health food store markets.

Biota and Daiichi Sign Marketing and Distribution Agreement for FLU OIA7

Biota Holdings Ltd announced on 1st July that it has signed a marketing and distribution agreement with Daiichi Pure Chemicals Co. Ltd of Japan for FLU OIA, Biota's rapid influenza diagnostic test. In addition to a share of the profits, Biota will receive a signing fee of approximately A$1 million and could receive additional fees subject to the achievement of certain milestones.

Progen gets green light for an Australian-first drug trial

Biotechnology company, Progen Industries Ltd (ASX Code: PGL; Nasdaq Code: PGLAF), has received the green light from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commence testing its drug, PI-88, in cancer patients in Australia.

BIO SHARES

Covering Australian Biotechnology Stocks - compiled by M.J. Playne

ISSUES

Commitment to Innovation

After the initial buzz on excitement at the Australian Governments' budget announcements of extra funds for medical and health research, and extra money for biotechnology infrastructure, industrial analysts are realising that once again it is largely a matter of "taking from some to give to others." There is in fact little new money for science.

ABA SUBMISSIONS

Submission to the Review of Business Taxation
High growth, high-technology industries perspective

Submission to The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Primary Industries and Regional Services
Inquiry into Primary Producer Access to Gene Technology

STRENGTHENING THE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION
A Brief Guide for the Australian Biotechnology Industry
Biological Weapons - Weapons of Mass Destruction

Letter to the Editor

ABA BRANCH NEWS

News from Canberra

A Canberra region meeting was held on 29th June to discuss lessons from the BIO conference in Seattle in May 1999. Dr Ted Maddess of the Australian National University led the discussion.

News from New South Wales

The second meeting in 1999 of the NSW branch of the ABA was held on 17th June, organised by David Irving and generously hosted by Biotech Australia. It was entitled "Report on the California-Australia Biotech Partnering and Finance Conference and BIO 99". The speakers were David Irving (Biotech Australia), Jamie Callachor (NSW Department of State and Regional Development), Kelvin Hopper (Aoris Nova) and Jonathan Izant (Garvan Institute).

BOOKS

Advances in Biochemical Engineering Biotechnology Volume 56
"Biotreatment, Downstream Processing and Modelling"

APMA 1998/99 Directory of Pharmaceutical and Medical Organisations

How to Benefit from Government Technology and Finance Initiatives -1999 Edition - Scitech Technology Directory

How to Network with Asia - Asia Initiatives Directory 1999 Edition

Chinese Biotechnology Directory 1998/99 (English Ed.)

Directory of Chinese Pharmaceutical Enterprises 1998 CD-ROM (English-Chinese)

MEETINGS

ABA OFFICE BEARERS

Copyright 1999 Australian Biotechnology Association Ltd

 

Alternative site location: http://www.ausbiotech.org/content.asp?pageid=16

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