Manufacturing news briefs — stories you might have missed

Viraleze shows efficacy in Covid-19 patients – Starpharma

Starpharma’s Viraleze antiviral nasal spray has demonstrated antiviral efficacy in a placebo-controlled study in participants with Covid-19. Viraleze achieved a statistically significant reduction in SARS-CoV-2 viral load, in the cohort of participants aged 45 and over. Viral load in the nose was reduced by 80 percent less than 24 hours after starting dosing with Viraleze. Viral load in the placebo group remained unchanged. Viraleze also demonstrated reduced time to negative PCR test and improvement in symptoms including recovery from loss of smell.

Tony Fraser joins Exail

Exail Robotics Australia has announced the appointment of Tony Fraser as a Non-Executive Director. In a statement on Tuesday, the company said Fraser’s 45 years’ in defence, industry and commercial sectors would help it steer towards new opportunities in Australia. Fraser’s reached the rank of Major General during a 34 year career in Defence, and as an accomplished aviator, he accrued over 5,500 hours of flight, predominantly in helicopters. His overseas service encompassed the UK, Middle East, Canada and the US. Fraser then held private sector roles including Managing Director for Australasia at Leonardo and Airbus Australia Pacific before returning to Defence from 2018 to 2022 as Deputy Secretary Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group in the Department of Defence. “I am eager to embark on this journey with Exail, aligning their leading technologies with the strategic objectives of Australia’s defence sector,” said Fraser. 

Cyclopharm and Yale to collaborate on Technegas imaging

Cyclopharm and the Yale Translational Research Imaging Center (Y-TRIC) will collaborate to study Cyclopharm’s nuclear medicine lung ventilation imaging agent, Technegas, in their pioneering research on Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS.) ARDS is a known life-threatening complication of Covid-19. The use of Technegas to image the lungs has the potential to deepen the understanding of ARDS and contribute to the development of enhanced diagnostic and therapeutic solutions, according to a statement from the company. Investigators including Dr Albert Sinusas, Professor of Medicine and Radiology & Biomedical Imaging and Biomedical Engineering at Yale University, will also be applying Technegas in studies of pulmonary hypertension and heart failure.

EPA fines timber processor

A Kilsyth-based timber processor has been fined $20,000 without conviction after an inspection by EPA Victoria found thousands of cubic metres of illegally stored industrial waste on the site. Planet Safe Timber, trading as CCA Pine, entered a plea of guilty in Ringwood Magistrates Court, in response to EPA charges of accepting industrial waste without a licence, said the EPA on Monday. EPA officers inspected the company’s Liverpool Rd premises in December 2021 and found thousands of cubic metres of construction and demolition waste. They took samples of material from one of the stockpiles, and lab tests revealed it contained three different types of asbestos. EPA issued the company with an Environmental Action Notice (EAN), requiring it to remove the industrial waste to a properly licensed facility for safe disposal.

Over four in five Aussie businesses buy Australian Made wherever possible: survey

New research from Roy Morgan shows Australian businesses are prioritising locally made products, with more than four in five stating they buy Australian-made goods wherever possible. The research surveyed a number of business decision-makers from a cross-section of Australian industries and found the key drivers behind the ‘Australian first’ attitude were down to value for money and better quality products. “Businesses know that by buying Australian, not only do you get products manufactured to some of the highest quality and safety standards in the world, you also help to create local jobs, strengthen local manufacturing capabilities and access to local customer service and after-sales support. You also get the certainty of local delivery timeframes in an uncertain global shipping market,” said Australian Made Chief Executive Ben Lazzaro. All businesses that participated in the survey recognised the Australian Made logo, with 85 per cent confident products displaying it were actually made or grown in Australia. It also found that 67 per cent of companies were more likely to purchase from a business with the mark.

Ice cream making a $1.5 billion market, report finds

The local ice cream manufacturing sector is worth $1.5 billion in annual revenues, and is anticipated to grow at an annualised 3.8 per cent over the five years through 2023-24, according to newly-released figures from market research IBISWorld. However, the current year is predicted to be a difficult one, with revenues down 5.2 per cent. “The industry is still feeling the impacts from a large decline in discretionary income over the past two years, as government stimulus ended and inflation intensified, with spending cuts reducing demand for ice cream products,” a summary explains. This is tipped to rebound. The research counted 170 companies in operation — employing 2,401 — in a highly concentrated market. Peters, Bulla Dairy Foods, Unilever Australia and Norco Co-Op account for over 70 per cent of total market share.

$78.8 million allocated for high-speed rail business case

The Australian government has allocated $78.8 million to deliver the initial Sydney to Newcastle high speed rail business case. Delivering high speed rail on that route “is a crucial waypoint towards the Australian Government’s commitment to build a high-speed rail network on Australia’s east coast” it said in a statement on Tuesday. The business case is expected to be provided to Government by the end of this year, having determined important aspects of the new rail network including the proposed alignment, station locations, the type of train to be used and the estimated cost and timeframe for construction. The funding will support proper planning needed for to the success of the project, “bringing high speed rail in Australia one step closer to construction.”

Picture: credit The Shop at Picnic Point/Facebook

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