3.4.2 Medical Devices and Diagnostics
Medical devices and diagnostics is a broad category ranging
from hospital beds to diagnostic devices, drug delivery
systems, wound care products, medical aids and implantable
devices such as stents and pace makers. Medical technology
companies develop, manufacture and supply a wide variety of
products that fall within the category of medical devices and
Factor Therapeutics Ltd’s wound care product, currently
seeking regulatory approval in the USA; Melcare Biomedical and
their innovative use of honey-based eye care and wound care
products; ImpediMed, who develop bioimpedance devices used
to assist the health of women following mastectomy; Ellume,
who are developing state of the art point of care diagnostic tests
(Ellume has received support from the Queensland Government
through an Ignite Ideas grant as well as support from the
Commonwealth’s Accelerating Commercialisation scheme);
or Magnetica and its –MRI technology, including the very
high field extremity magnet, gradient and RF coils. Magnetica
recently received a Queensland Government Ignite Ideas grant
as well as support from the Commonwealth’s Accelerating
Commercialisation scheme. The State Government has also
invested heavily in initiatives involving the State-developed
NanopatchTM; including a project to develop a dengue vaccine
delivered by the device under the Accelerate Fellowships grant
Queensland is home to a number of multinational companies
such as Cook Medical - the largest privately held medical
device manufacturing company in the world, with over 15,000
separate product lines. The company has achieved success
with its cardiovascular stents and IVF products to assist families.
Cook Medical is situated at Brisbane Technology Park (BTP),
a former Queensland Government initiative set up to facilitate
interaction between technology and research-focused national
and multinational companies in one location. Cook Medical
recently launched their Asia-Pacific Commercialisation and
Development Centre in Brisbane to assist early stage medical
device companies achieve their commercial dream.
Cochlear Limited’s Queensland facility employs approximately
200 people and the facility produces more than 400 different
types of products through a combination of high technology
automation and painstaking manual micro assembly work.
Cochlear have been manufacturing in Queensland since 2007
and in 2013 opened a new state of the art microchip processing
operation in their facility in Brisbane.
The Medical Devices and Product Quality Division - part of
the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which is in the
Health Products Regulation Group (HPRG) within the Australian
Government's Department of Health - is responsible for pre-market
and post-market regulation of medical devices. In 2014,
the Australian Government announced changes in the TGA
approval processes for medical devices, making it easier for
Australian and international companies to release products in
Every medical device sold in Australia conforms to the relevant
provisions of the TGA requirements. For more information,
contact LSQ and we would be happy to direct you to one or
more of our Members who are most appropriate to your needs.
Worm spit worth bottling - a JCU Janssen Case Study
Scientists at JCU's CBMDT have been researching a promising
protein with a view to developing a treatment for inflammatory
bowel disease (IBD). CBMDT Director Professor Alex Loukas, and
a team of researchers alongside Janssen Biotech Inc. (Janssen) - a
collaboration facilitated by Johnson & Johnson's new Asia Pacific
Innovation Centre - have successfully regulated the inflammatory
response in coeliac patients by infecting them with hookworms.
"After we established that the proteins the worms secrete are
the key to an anti-inflammatory effect, we sifted through all
the proteins involved, synthesised the most abundant ones,
investigated those, and identified our most promising candidate,"
Professor Loukas said.
In a step towards developing the treatment, Applied Molecular
Transport (AMT) recently announced it had entered into a
research collaboration and license agreement granting Janssen
an exclusive, worldwide license for an orally administered
biopharmaceutical product for the treatment of IBD.
"The role of molecular trafficking technologies as engines
for the development of next-generation, orally administered
biopharmaceutics has been recognised as a significant area of
opportunity in the pharmaceutical industry," said Chief Business
Officer, AMT, Tahir Mahmood.
Diagnostics are tools which support clinicians in the investigation
and identification of disease states in medicine and veterinary
science. The diagnostic industry generally falls into two broad
categories: in vitro diagnostics (IVD) and in vivo diagnostics. IVD
involves the removal of samples of tissue such as blood from
a living organism for examination. In vivo diagnostics involves
observing and testing tissue and function in a living organism,
and includes techniques such as medical imaging (e.g.
magnetic resonance) and monitoring (e.g. electrocardiography,
Australia-wide there are more than 500 medical technology
companies, and separately, approximately 54 IVD companies
supplying medical devices. Approximately 12 per cent of these
companies are located in Queensland. The Australian industry
had a turnover of approximately AU$11 billion in 2012 and
is expected to grow at a rate of 5.4 per cent per annum until
2018. The industry was responsible for 43,952 medical devices
listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG)
The majority of Australian-manufactured medical technology
products are exported, with a value of AU$2.23 billion in 2013-
2014. Comparatively, the value of Australia's medical technology
imports for 2013-2014 was AU$5.59 billion.
Queensland's biomedical industry includes companies
operating in a range of these specialist fields, with many well
supported by the State Government. Consider just some of the
many leading companies selling or utilising their innovations in
Australia and around the world.
Section 3: Life Sciences Queensland Ltd Sub Sectors
Life Sciences Queensland Limited – www.lsq.com.au