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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 9

I Introduction

II The Australian Chemical Industry

III Pharmaceuticals

IV Chemists In Other Industries

V The Dawn Of Modern Chemical Industry - High Pressure Synthesis

VI The Growth Of Synthetic Chemicals - Concentration, Rationalisation And International Links

VII Australian Industrial Chemical Research Laboratories
i Australian instrument inventions
ii Plant protection - overseas and in Australia
iii Successes in the laboratory but . . .
iv Drugs for sheep and cattle revisited Tetramisole - international success and local manufacture
v 'Promicide'* 'Grenade'* to control ticks
vi Technical service R&D
vii Industry/CSIRO/university collaboration
viii Australian entrepreneurs in modern chemistry

VIII The Plastics Industry

IX The Paint Industry

X Acknowledgements



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'Promicide'* 'Grenade'* to control ticks

*Registered trademark

Strength in organic synthesis with direct links to local biological evaluation at Merrindale (Victoria) were supported by an aggressive patent strategy aimed not only at the local but also international markets. Since clearly not all leads could be pursued by development and marketing overseas, licensing to suitable partners was a major consideration in the field of agricultural chemicals. As, over the years, the number of compounds needed to find a new biological had increased to about 10,000, even the Australian animal health market was no longer large enough to support the cost of research. The company therefore came to an arrangement with the parent company which allowed it to use its skills in organic synthesis and provided access to international markets; ICI Australia took on the role of the ICI corporate Animal Health Centre, cooperating with ICI's Pharmaceutical Division and drawing on the latter's vast resources, but sharing in any benefits from international exploitation in proportion to the respective contributions. The collaboration greatly contributed to local skills and potential.

One development that arose wholly from local research was 'Promicide',*[107] a tickicide aimed specifically at the Australian cattle tick problem which cost the farmer each year some $40 million in lost production and control measures. It was a new compound per se, the first such veterinary drug invented, synthesised and developed commercially in Australia, and was effective against resistant ticks. In due course it secured a fair share of the market. Another tickicide was a joint development under the Animal Health Scheme with the parent company. The Australians selected a compound, 'cyhalothrin', for which no commercial use had been found overseas, from the parent company's large chemical compound collection; they showed it to be effective against cattle tick and by inventing a simpler route to an intermediate reduced costs so that it could be developed for both the local and the overseas markets ('Grenade').*

*Registered trademark

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Animal Health Scheme; CSIRO Division of Pharmaceuticals; I.C.I. Australia Ltd

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© 1988 Print Edition page 690, Online Edition 2000
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