Government announces $36m in funding for medical product manufacturing projects


Five medical product manufacturers will share over $36 million in grants through round 1 of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) Translation and Integration streams.

The funding includes $3 million to help Perth-based Avicena Systems scale up manufacturing of its Sentinel COVID-19 screening system, which can be used to rapidly test more than 90,000 people every day.

The system can be deployed at border checkpoints and airports, providing results within 35 minutes of a sample being collected, which is enough time to prevent an infectious person from boarding a flight.

Other successful Medical Products recipients under the Initiative are:

  • Cyclowest in WA, which will use its $2.5 million in funding to scale up its facility with a state-of-the-art cyclotron, which produces therapy radiopharmaceuticals that contribute to helping clinicians diagnose medical conditions, including cancer.
  • Vaxxas in Queensland will use its $4.4 million in funding to ramp up production of its world-leading patch vaccination device that is worn on the skin like a band-aid to deliver vaccines into the bloodstream.
  • GBS (APAC) in NSW, which will use its $6.3 million in funding to build a new medical device manufacturing facility to enable the commercialisation of technology for diagnostic tests.
  • Noumed Pharmaceuticals in SA, which will receive $20 million towards construction of a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for prescription and over-the-counter medications

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said the funding would help keep Australians safe from COVID-19 and reduce the country’s reliance on overseas suppliers of vital medications.

“Products like Avicena’s screening system, which has broader infectious disease testing applications beyond COVID-19, also have the potential to create significant export earnings,” the Minister continued.

“Australia has already been a pioneer with the cochlear implant, the green whistle pain reliever and the cervical cancer vaccine – now it’s time we back the next great Aussie medical success story.”