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Vale Brian Cossar
Brian Cossar, a PSA Life member died
on Saturday 5 December 2015 after a
PSA 2015 Lifetime Achiever, John Coppock
paid tribute to Mr Cossar and said that
Brian was a 'highly ethical gentleman
who continued the Cossar family's legacy.
He had been an active member of the
Cossar Club, a bequest organisation to raise
funds for Monash Faculty of Pharmacy and
'We are saddened for Brian's passing --
the Cossar legacy will live on through
the Cossar Club and the Cossar Hall at
Parkville,' John said.
The Cossar name is iconic in Australian
pharmacy history. Brian Cossar's
grandfather, David, turned the Henry
Francis Chemist into a pharmacy chain
across Australia when he worked with the
Myer family to set up a pharmacy at each
Myer store across the country.
Brian's father, Norman, was a director
of Pharmaceutical Defence Ltd and
a member of the Pharmacy Journal
Management Committee and set up
the PP Guide that served Australian
pharmacists for many decades.
Brian took over the Henry Francis
Pharmacy chain from 1981 and was
elected to the Victorian Pharmacy Guild
Council in 1990.
Between them, David, Norman and
Brian Cossar owned and operated the
Henry Francis chain of pharmacies for
over 80 years. The family is well known
for its generous support of the Victorian
College of Pharmacy (now the faculty of
Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science at
In 1960, David Cossar donated 25,000
pounds (equal to about $630,000 today)
to an industry-wide appeal to relocate
the college from Swanston Street to
Parkville. In recognition of his generosity,
Cossar Hall in the Sissons Building
is named after him. David Cossar's
grandson, Brian continued the family's
tradition of support of the faculty.
closely with patients and their GPs to
improve adherence and benefit clinical
The project is funded through the
Gilead Fellowship Program. In 2016
nine projects have been funded.
HIV pharmacist project
In an Australian first, researchers from
Alfred Health, Melbourne will conduct
a study to evaluate the effectiveness
of a HIV specialist pharmacist
consultation for patients who are at
risk of medication related problems
(MRPs) within high caseload GP clinics.
Kate Mackie, Senior Clinical Pharmacist,
said: 'Many patients living with HIV/AIDS
have complex medication regimens.
While antiretroviral regimens are highly
effective, patients may be at increased
risk for side effects, drug interactions
and medication non-adherence.
Our research aims to demonstrate the
role of a specialist pharmacist to work
Using plants as medicine
Researchers from La Trobe and Queensland universities have taken an
important step towards making cheaper and better medicines using plants
rather than existing industrial processes.
They have identified and produced the
key enzyme that can turn small proteins
known as linear peptides into more
robust, chemically stable circular ones --
making the peptides a leading candidate
for future pharmaceutical drug design.
The work was led by research fellow
Dr Karen Harris under the supervision
of biochemist Professor Marilyn
Anderson from La Trobe University and
chemist Professor David Craik from the
University of Queensland.
It was published last month in
the international journal Nature
Communications. The research was the
team's first breakthrough since gaining
a million dollar Ramaciotti Biomedical
Research Award in October 2015 to
help develop technologies for more
potent and affordable next-generation
medicines. Circular peptides are a class
of proteins exceptionally resistant to
chemicals, enzymes and heat because of
their unique structural scaffold.
Dr Harris said they were less likely to
be broken down by gastric acids than
linear peptides currently in use, and
could react more specifically with target
molecules with fewer side effects.
'Our enzyme comes from the original
African plant in which the first circular
peptides were discovered more than
40 years ago. That plant was used by
women in the Congo in tea to accelerate
childbirth,' she said.
Dr Harris said it was the first time that
the crucial cyclising enzyme from this
plant had been produced in bacteria
and used to make circular peptides in
Professor Anderson said other people
had synthesised circular peptides using
sophisticated chemical methods.
'But that's an expensive process with
low yields. The discovery of the cyclising
enzyme will enable us for the first time
to make enough of this circular peptide
for clinical trials. We expect clinical trials
will be about five years away.'
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