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
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
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
The Australian Government's Department of Industry Science
& Resources recently re-launched its Biotechnology Section to
provide an interactive link between Government, research and
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
The Forest and Wood Products Research and Development
Corporation and CSIRO are collaborating to develop an
environmentally friendly alternative to termite control in urban
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
Monsanto will wait for Studies of Disputed New
(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
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
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
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
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
The Australian Proteome Analysis Facility (APAF), under
newly appointed Director Dr Gary Cobon, has its sights set on the
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
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.
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
Biota Holdings Limited (ASX:BTA) has announced that
Glaxo Wellcome has received regulatory approval to market
(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
Progen gets green light for an Australian-first
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.
Covering Australian Biotechnology
Stocks - compiled by M.J. Playne
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.
Submission to the Review of Business
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
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
Advances in Biochemical Engineering
Biotechnology Volume 56
"Biotreatment, Downstream Processing and Modelling"
APMA 1998/99 Directory of Pharmaceutical and
How to Benefit from Government Technology and Finance
Initiatives -1999 Edition - Scitech Technology Directory
How to Network with Asia - Asia Initiatives Directory 1999
Chinese Biotechnology Directory 1998/99 (English Ed.)
Directory of Chinese Pharmaceutical Enterprises 1998 CD-ROM
ABA OFFICE BEARERS
Copyright 1999 Australian Biotechnology Association Ltd