16/07/2008 - 22:00

Flea treatment wins Pitch event

16/07/2008 - 22:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

New treatments for flea infestations in sheep and for whooping cough were the winners of competitions run in Perth last week by the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board and Curtin University respectively.

New treatments for flea infestations in sheep and for whooping cough were the winners of competitions run in Perth last week by the Australian Small Scale Offerings Board and Curtin University respectively.

The winner of ASSOB's Pitch 08 competition was CockySmart Pty Ltd, which has developed an organically-derived treatment that eradicates fleas, ticks and lice infestation on livestock with no side effects.

The second prize winner, Alzhyme Pty Ltd, is commercialising compounds for use in the treatment and early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Spartel Pty Ltd, which has developed a glass crushing system for use in bars, was the third prize winner.

CockySmart's backers include ASX-listed biotech company Stirling Products Ltd, which has acquired a 25 per cent equity stake and plans to assist with the development and commercialization of its product.

"Right from the first meeting I thought their product had heaps of potential," Stirling Products chief executive Calvin London said.

Dr London, who is a director of CockySmart, said he has been talking with the company for a year but became involved after CockySmart, like several other technology companies, was caught out by the unexpected scrapping of the federal government's Commercial Ready grants.

He said the immediate aim was to get the sheep treatment to market by late 2009 or early 2010.

He anticipates sales of the sheep treatment will total $50 million in the first five years in the main markets of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

He sees potential to move into other geographic markets and to develop treatments for other animals.

CockySmart's prize is a listing on ASSOB; the company is hoping to raise up to $1 million through this process.

The company's founder and managing director, John Chamberlain, discovered the treatment after observing that, unlike sheep, a cockatoo on his farm was unaffected by fleas.

Meanwhile, Curtin University has selected the winner of its new inventor competition.

The $10,000 first prize was awarded to a non-invasive, long-lasting whooping cough vaccine, developed by Dr Trilochan K. Mukker of the school of biomedical sciences.

The intranasal vaccine offers increased efficacy and potentially fewer side effects.

It will also be cheaper to produce than existing vaccines, assisting developing nations in achieving adequate protection from whooping cough.

The runner-up was a process for refining metals using electrostatic solvent extraction, which offers significant economic and environmental benefits to the mining industry.

The winner of last year's Curtin competition, an assistive technology for blind pedestrians, has just been awarded a further $16,000 grant by the university to pursue commercialisation opportunities.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options