is what our company is based on - thinking. Whenever you’re building a business, you have to do a geographical analysis of your environment. Perth has got as good a chance as Silicone Valley to be a good long-term place for developing industries. Without giving away your intellectual property, what else do you have in the pipeline? I am working with the Western Australian Department of Health who have bought a large number of Springfusors® for Covid-19. They needed to know there were more pumps available if there was a big crisis. They have asked us for report on how much money they’ll save if they use Springfusors®. In this case, the Springfusors® will have cost them in the order of $60. An ordinary pump could cost a thousand dollars or more. It means that they’re buying WA technology for WA hospitals. We will now need to invest in training for the use of the technology. We are on the verge of launching a variety of “extension” products which will improve outcomes for patients, including those needing treatment at homes. Another product will assist keep veins open over 24 hours with saline – very little effort will be required to achieve this. With the assistance of Wrays, we have succeeded in getting many patents approved. One of the most exciting is achieving the O’Neil trade mark. I am told getting a surname trade marked is almost impossible, but I am happy to tell you we use the ® with the O’Neil on our medical devices. What have you learned about innovation and product development over the past 45 years of patenting? Necessity is the mother of invention. Don’t waste your time on things that are not necessary. Go back to basic science to work out how to achieve the solution to your problem. Growth in companies will be best if you’ve got projects where you’ve got 90% chance of success. But from a project point of view, the projects that are sort of difficult to do are worthwhile hanging on to, especially if they’re really necessary and they’re really needed. I ask what’s really necessary. It’s a very important question.
of view, that may have been a smart option, but we’ve been concentrating on trying to go with a non-addictive substance. Our philosophies are based on what’s right to do. You are currently running trials to get FDA approval for your naltrexone implant. Can you tell us about these? To receive FDA approval is a big job. It costs an average of $1.4 billion dollars to develop a new pharmaceutical product. Columbia University has received a US $21 million grant to conduct trials of our naltrexone implant. The American Government has paid the university to work with us, and the product we’re trying to validate. Although Go Medical is directing and coordinating the research of Columbia University, it is a true collaboration. In the end, the American Government gets a product which is good for their people, but all of the initial technology belongs to Go Medical. What funding does the Fresh Start Clinic receive? Fresh Start costs about nine million a year to run. The reason it costs nine million is because we’re detoxing people. We’re running a hospital, we’re running a 24-hour accommodation service, multiple facilities and funding the wages for 80 people. The state government contributes $3 million dollars and at least $2 million comes from patients. The patients contribute $20 a week for something that costs us an average of $6000 or $7000 per patient. We also receive funding from the sale of medical devices from Go Medical and then of course we have our many volunteers. Western Australia has a thriving bio-technology industry. To date, Australian Universities have developed 13 drugs that have received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration. 5 of those came from WA. Why do you think Western Australia is so successful? First of all, it is the most isolated region of the world, and that’s an advantage. We don’t have a big group of productive industries for our young people coming out of universities. If your young intelligent people are all chewed up by production work, they are not available for thinking work. When I started my company I said, “Look, I don’t want to buy any machines from America and I don’t want to buy any machines from Europe. I want us to do thinking.” That
DR GEORGE O’NEIL Medical Director at Go Medical Industries