Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist January 2013 Contents 12 Australian Pharmacist January 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
1918 Spanish u pandemic
Understanding the viral sequencing
data of influenza strands can be crucial
to understanding a virus' origin, spread,
and evolution. Researchers, writing in
the Journal of Pathology, have turned to
the worst pandemic in history, the 1918
Spanish flu, which killed approximately
50 million people worldwide. The team
analysed lung tissue samples from both
the 1918 pandemic and the recent
Swine Flu influenza of 2009. Within a
matter of days the team succeeded in
drawing out full-length IAV genomes
from both samples.
Common myths about immunisation
have been tackled in a booklet written
by the nation's top immunologists and
published by the Australian Academy
of Science. Its development was
overseen by Professor Tony Basten and
Professor Ian Frazer, and an Oversight
Committee chaired by Sir Gus Nossal
in response to confusion created by
contradictory information in the public
domain, The Science of Immunisation:
Questions and Answers explains the
latest immunology science in accessible
language. It is available at: www.
Bismuth as good as gold
Cheap, non-toxic nanoparticles can
enhance radiotherapy treatments
for cancer, research led by RMIT
University in Melbourne has shown.
An international team of researchers led
by RMIT has investigated alternatives
to gold nanoparticles, which have been
shown to concentrate radiation used to
treat cancer but are highly expensive
and mildly toxic. Doctoral researcher,
Mamdooh Alqathami, said the team had
identified bismuth as an ideal option,
with tests showing that enhancing
radiotherapy by using nanoparticles
containing the heavy metal almost
doubled the dose of radiation to
surrounding cancerous tissue.
A vision for the Asian century
By Andrew Daniels
Medicines Australia (MA) has unveiled
a 10-year vision for the Australian
medicines industry which aims to double
manufacturing output, exports and R&D
In an address to the National Press Club in
December, MA Chairman Mark Masterson
outlined the new vision. Drawing on his
experience as Area Vice-President for
Abbott Pharmaceuticals with responsibility
for the Asia Pacific, he said that for all
the talk of Australia's place in the Asian
Century, 'we're not yet on their radar.
We're not part of the conversation there.'
'The opportunity won't just come to us.
We can't just sit and wait for it to happen.
We have to go and get it. And we will
have to work hard to capitalise on the rise
of Asia if we are to seize the opportunity,'
However, he said that with the right
policy settings, the medicines industry
in Australia was ideally placed to harness
the dramatic rise of Asia, the expanding
global medicines market, and the
emergence of high-tech biological
'The vision is to double our manufacturing
output from $7 billion in 2012 to
$14 billion over the next decade and to
establish a number of highly specialised
biomanufacturing plants; double our
exports from $4bn to $8bn; double our
R&D investment from $1bn to $2bn;
creating many more high-skilled jobs
and increasing the number of Australians
accessing clinical trials to 30,000.
'This vision is about sustainable growth,
and creating an environment that can
attract investment; that can establish
Australia as a world-class centre for
medical research and drive collaboration
between industry and the broader
'We have a genuine, once-in-a-generation
opportunity to grow the medicines
industry into one of the key Australian
high-tech industries that can lay the
foundation for a new economy,' he said.
Mr Masterson said that realising the vision
was dependant on getting central policy
settings right in four key areas:
• establishing an industry-neutral
• expediting clinical trial reform to
improve Australia's international
• lowering the corporate tax rate to 25%
and maintaining the R&D tax credit
• securing a stable, predictable business
and policy environment in Australia.
'Whether or not we can capitalise on this
opportunity depends on whether we can
quickly deliver the right policy settings in
these four key focus areas,' he said.
Mr Masterson said that it was an
ambitious vision, but an achievable and
realistic one because in Australia we
have two key opportunities going for us
-- the once-in-a-generation opportunity
to capitalise on the rise of Asia; and
Australia's capacity to position itself
as a high-end, highly specialised bio
He quantified the opportunity by
considering the magnitude and the
projected growth of the global industry.
'The global pharmaceuticals market,
currently worth $950 billion, is estimated
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