Manufacturing news briefs – stories you might have missed

First Graphene’s low-carbon cement grant

A consortium led by First Graphene has secured a GBP190,000 UK government grant to develop graphene-enhanced, low carbon cement. The company and Breedon Cement, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure and the University of Manchester aim to achieve a 25 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions in cement production. The grant, from UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK, will investigate the addition of First Graphene’s PureGRAPH which has been shown in tests to increase the compressive strength by 34 per cent and tensile strength of cement mortar by 27 per cent. The manufacture of clinker which binds cement is a primary contributor to CO2 emissions, however reducing clinker content reduces cement durability.

Cleanaway battles ‘temporary headwinds’

Waste recycling business Cleanaway reported a 14.9 per cent rise in sales to $1.2 billion in the first six months of the year but a statutory net profit fall of 33.9 drop in net profit to $562.5 million as it faced whet the company called temporary headwinds. Higher revenue was partially offset by lower volumes from higher margin activities, lockdowns in NSW, higher fuel and Adblue prices, and higher costs in its health services business and commodity shipping costs. However underlying EBITDA operating profit was up 3.8 per cent to $273.7 million for the half. Cleanaway has completed a ‘deep review’ of its strategy, in light of the sector moving from ‘collect and dispose’ to a greater focus on resource recovery through the value chain. CEO Mark Schubert said this revealed a long runway of opportunities in domestic markets.

Cann Group studies benefits of cannabis for sleep

Medicinal cannabis producer Cann Group has begun recruiting patients for a phase 3 clinical trial studying the efficacy of its CBD-Saltipharm capsule for the short-term treatment of sleep disturbances and quality of life outcomes. The trial is part of a programme to secure Australian approval to market an over the counter cannabidiol (CBD) product. More than 212 patients in three groups will receive three different doses of the formulation over four weeks, with a fourth group receiving a placebo. A Phase 2 study has shown the CBD capsules to be efficacious as an add-on therapy for the treatment of paediatric, intractable epilepsy. The capsules will be produced at Cann’s new manufacturing facility near Mildura, Victoria (pictured) which was recently audited by the Therapeutic Goods Administration as part of a process to achieve a GMP licence for the facility.

Nova Eye expands in glaucoma treatment

Medical device manufacturer Nova Eye Medical has expanded the potential of its glaucoma surgical devices with the acquisition of a portfolio of glaucoma treatment patents. The Adelaide company outlaid $2.7 million in cash and shares in the company to purchase the patents from Innovative Glaucoma Solutions LLC. The purchase was a factor in a net EBITDA loss of $2.2 million reported by the company on sales down two per cent to $6.5 million for the first half FY22. The result included a small contribution from its new subsidiary, AlphaRET, which is commercialising laser technology for the treatment of intermediate age-related macular degeneration (iAMD). Nova was known until July as Ellex Medical Lasers, however it disposed of the name when it sold its ophthalmic laser manufacturing business – which retains the name and its Adelaide factory – for $97.4 million.

Picture: Cann Group/Mildura facility

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