Published: Monday 31 May 1999

MEMORY FOR CHILDREN: Clinical trials on the efficacy of Memory Plus capsule have shown that it is effective on children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHA). The trials were conducted by the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow (CDRI). Raj Kumar, managing director of Velvette International Pharma Ltd, the manufacturers of Memory Plus, said that the CDRI had certified that the medicine had no side effects. O P Asthana, head of the Clinical and Experimental Medicine Division said the data analysis had revealed a significant improvement on sentence repetition and logical memory following the 12-week administration of Memory Plus.

SMALL CAR ENGINES: Mazda Motor and Ford Motor will develop a family of small engines that both companies' cars will use starting 2001. The move is aimed at developing competitiveness against their rivals. A Mazda executive said they are planning to spend about US $415.4 million on the project and are likely to produce a total of two million units. Mazda spokesperson Keiichi Wakabayashi said Mazda is set to introduce a new MPV minivan with Ford-assembled engine that will also be used in Ford vehicles. He said his company also plans to launch a sport-utility vehicle in the US in the later half of 2000.

DRUG FOR DIABETES: A new drug, Cogent DB, has been launched by Cybele Herbal Laboratories, Cochin, for patients suffering from diabetes. According to a company spokesperson, regular use of the herbal tablets will make the daily dose of insulin a thing of the past. He said Cogent DB will not only arrest the damage in the pancreas, but will also rejuvenate the pancreatic cells that produce insulin.

LOW-COST GOLD MINE: London-based company, Randgold Resources has decided to go ahead with the development of low-cost Morila gold mine in the west African state of Mali after a favourable feasibility study. The study estimated gold reserves of 3.33 m ounces at the site, and puts Morila's total resources at 4.45 m ounces. The company's project will put Mali among the top three African gold producers after South Africa and Ghana. Randgold Resources' other main operation is also in Mali, at Syama.

CLONING AGREEMENT: Scottish biotechnology company, PPL Therapeutics, famous for cloning the sheep Dolly, has signed an agreement with the US-based company to examine the feasibility of producing another protein, for human use, in transgenic animals. The company said it will undertake a study on the feasibility of the project, which is expected to take around six months, involving production of a peptide, a human protein, in the milk of the transgenic rabbits. If successful, the US company will decide to proceed with full testing, production could be moved to sheep depending on how much of the protein is needed.

ELECTRIC BICYCLES: Bicycles partly propelled by rechargeable batteries were the hottest product at Taipei's International Cycle show held in the second week of April. According to Van Nuys of the US-based motor and battery maker Currie Technologies, electric bicycles will give an impetus to the industry worldwide. T Sakamoto, president of Cycle Press in Japan said the sales of electric bicycles this year will climb up 50 per cent.

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