Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Mesoblast secures FDA approval for heart disease treatment

Biotechnology company Mesoblast has secured US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Revascor heart disease treatment. The FDA issued a rare pediatric disease (RPD) designation for Revascor following submission of results from a trial in 19 children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Revascor is made yup of 150 million mesenchymal precursor cells (MPCs) injected into the heart muscle in patients suffering from CHF and progressive loss of heart function. This helps correct a condition in which the left side of the heart does not fully develop.

Namoi Cotton aligns with foreign takeover bid

Namoi Cotton, which operates 10 cotton gins on the east coast and in Northern Western Australia, has entered into a scheme of implementation to smooth the way for a takeover by Louis Dreyfus Company Asia Pte Ltd (LDC). Under the scheme Dreyfus will acquire the 83 percent of the company it does not already own. Dreyfus is a joint venture partner in the Namoi Cotton Alliance and Namoi Cotton Marketing. Louis Dreyfus is involved in agricultural processing, and is offering to acquire 100 percent of the business for 51 cents per share, a premium of 44 percent on the last closing price. Namoi Executive Chairman Tim Watson said: “Combining Namoi’s ginning business with LDC is designed to create a strengthened and sustainable business for our grower customers and staff and providing Namoi shareholders the opportunity to realise value for their shares.”

MGA commissions new furnace

Thermal energy storage company MGA Thermal has announced that its R&D team is commissioning a modified furnace to add to the company’s development plant. “The furnace allows for fine control of the furnace gas environment during firing of very large MGA Blocks, which is an essential step to optimising our technologies,” the company posted on Linkedin. Much of the modifications were done in-house, with a major contribution to fabrication and welding by our fitter machinist apprentice Lily Manton.” The company is currently attempting to get its plans back on track following a factory fire in October, which delayed the launch of an onsite pilot energy storage system demonstrator. A “dangerous heat build-up” was cited at the time, though it was “continuing to work toward our vision of making 24/7 renewable energy a reality” following the incident. MGA was named a Gold Award Winner through this title’s Australia’s 50 Most Innovative Manufacturers campaign last year.

Deep Tech Elevate workshop applications now open

Applications are open for the next round of Cicada Innovations’ Deep Tech Elevate workshops, which it describes as an intensive two-day workshop to help founders turn groundbreaking science and technology into an impactful deep tech businesses faster. The workshops will be held March 26 and 27 at the technology incubator’s Eveleigh, Sydney site, and funded through the Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer. Registrations of interest can be made here.

Bio-gene receive R&D tax payment

Insecticide developer Bio-Gene Technology received a $504,000 research and development (R&D) tax incentive payment from the Australian Taxation Office last week. According to a statement from the company, it was for R&D costs incurred in the 2022/2023 financial year and is in addition to the $3.5 million cash reserves reported in its September 2023 quarterly update. The incentive credit relates “to both Australian and eligible overseas expenditure for the development of the Company’s products Flavocide and Qcide.” CEO & Managing Director Tim Grogan said, “This $504,000 R&D tax incentive credit further strengthens our balance sheet and will be reinvested into our ongoing commercialisation and development programs.” 

Construction starts on new TAFE facilities at Bundaberg

Construction has begun on a $3.35 million Agriculture and Horticulture Centre and $1 million Advanced Manufacturing Skills Centre at TAFE Queensland’s Bundaberg campus, the state government announced last week. The Advanced Manufacturing Skills Centre will “provide students with access to modern infrastructure such as 3D printing machines to support high-end manufacturing skills development for the region” according to the release. Local family-owned company, Murchie Constructions, was appointed builder for both projects. Skills minister Lance McCallum said, “Manufacturing is an industry worth $20 billion per year to the Queensland economy and is currently the third-largest employer of full-time workers – expected to grow to more than 182,000 by 2025-26. This new investment means our future Advanced Manufacturing workforce will receive the best training in a high-tech, supportive environment and will gain the necessary skills to take on high-value jobs – in the lab, and on the production line.”

SPEE3D appoints new education sales director

The NIOA Group has announced the appointment of United States-based executive Dan Olson to the company’s Advisory Board. Olson is formerly Vice President and General Manager of Northrop Grumman’s Weapon Systems Division, and joins NIOA as a fulltime adviser, “with a focus on developing the company’s US strategy.” It follows NIOA’s recent move into the US Army’s Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey (pictured) and comes on the first anniversary of the company’s 100 per cent acquisition of Tennessee-based Barrett Firearms. NIOA Group CEO Rob Nioa said: “As a strategically oriented executive with a proven record of delivering a broad spectrum of advanced military systems, products and services, Dan brings a wealth of knowledge to our Advisory Board that will complement our ambitions at both Picatinny and Barrett as well as in Australia and New Zealand.”

Austin upgrades guidance

Mining equipment manufacturer Austin Engineering Limited has announced an expected improvement in first half results for the financial year ending 30 June 2024 (1H FY24). In a statement on Monday, the company said it now expects 1H FY24 revenue of $138-$144 million (versus original guidance of $120-140 million), and 1H FY24 underlying NPAT of $12-$14 million (versus original guidance of $10-$12 million.) The NPAT guidance “reflects an 18 upgrade to the range mid-points” and an increase of about 140 per cent compared to the prior corresponding period (H1 FY23 NPAT of $5.4 million). The company credited the improved guidance to increased revenue and a sustainable improvement in operational effectiveness, both a major focus of the “Austin 2.0 strategy “implemented in 2021. Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “This continues our journey to the target margins and higher revenue base we believe are possible at Austin. As a result, we expect the revenue and margin growth momentum to continue into the second half of the year.” Full-year guidance will be given when interim results are released next month.

Picture: credit NIOA


Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top