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md takes a swing at beattie and howard

  1. ds
    7,131 Posts.

    15:42 22Aug2003 AAP-Agenix boss says govts should back biotech winners, not losers

    MELBOURNE, Aug 22 AAP - The Australian federal and state governments should stop supporting the losers in the biotechnology industry and concentrate more on helping those companies that deliver what they promise, Agenix Ltd managing director Don Home said today.
    Mr Home told a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia luncheon that the Australian biotech sector was based on good science but lacked the expertise to commercialise that science in the key United States market.
    He said too many Australian biotechs had promised to meet various commercial milestones when they were floated on the stock market but then failed to meet them.
    Mr Home said there was good government awareness of the Australian biotech sector but that had not been translated into support where it was most needed: commercialisation.
    "I don't think government awareness is translating into government support," Mr Home said.
    Most government grants were focused at supporting research.
    Mr Home said governments should stop dishing out research grants in a piecemeal fashion and "bite the bullet" and bring people to Australia who had the expertise to start making money out of research and product development.
    "They (the governments) should invest smarter. They shouldn't nickle-and-dime and dish out $300,000 to this company and $400,000 to that one," he said.
    Mr Home told AAP that companies that delivered as promised deserved government support and those that did not should be left aside.
    "To get a grant you almost have to prove that you can't make it and you don't have enough money to continue operations," he said.
    "What they should be doing instead is be saying: you guys have hit your milestones - we'll reward you."
    Mr Home said that in Queensland, where Agenix is based, there was no incentive to keep the company there.
    "I can get a lot more money by relocating the whole thing to the United States," Mr Home said.
    Mr Home said Agenix had received "zero" funding from the Queensland government.
    Agenix makes and markets human and veterinary diagnostic test kits as well as various pharmaceuticals.
    Agenix shares were steady at 67 cents today.
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    Friday, 22 August 2003 15:42:41
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