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AAP updates meningitis vaccine recommendations

BY Ryan Chavis

WASHINGTON — The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its recommendations on the use of meningococcal vaccines in children and adolescents, according to the online issue of Pediatrics.

The AAP now recommends an age-appropriate meningococcal conjugate vaccine instead of the meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine for children and adolescents, according to the policy statement.

Individuals ages 11 to 12 years should be immunized and given a booster once they reach 16 years of age. Unvaccinated or first-year college students who had received vaccines before the age of 21 living in dorms who received their last dose before their 16th birthday should also receive a single dose of quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine.

The complete update can be viewed here.
 

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Helios Corp. introduces botanical supplement for the relief of menopause symptoms

BY Michael Johnsen

SANTA FE, N.M. — Helios Corp. on Wednesday announced the introduction of a botanical supplement for the relief of menopause symptoms, EstroG-100, which is found in Advanced Menopause Relief from CVS, Menopause Relief from Walgreens, Best EstroG-100 from Doctor's Best, Herbal Pause from NOW Foods and EstroG-100 from Swanson Nutrition.
 
The ingredient is a combination of three botanical root extracts that have been used as edible herbs in Korea and China."For so long women have feared menopause and suffered through it, just to feel like they're never quite the same again — like they've lost their normal lives," said Michael Jeffers, Helios Corp. president. 
 
"All that's been available to treat menopause symptoms are prescription medications with terrible side effects and herbal remedies that work at a snail's pace or not at all," he said. "With EstroG-100, we finally have a solution that works, and the speed with which it works is unheard of." 
 
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Pfizer acquires Baxter International vaccine portfolio for $635 million

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Pfizer on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Baxter International’s portfolio of marketed vaccines for $635 million. As part of the transaction, Pfizer will also acquire a portion of Baxter’s facility in Orth, Austria, where these vaccines are manufactured.  
 
“For [more than] a decade, Pfizer has been the global leader in pneumococcal disease prevention," said Susan Silbermann, Pfizer Vaccines president. "We are working hard to bring innovative vaccines to market that prevent and treat serious diseases. Through this acquisition, we will add two high-quality and life-saving vaccines that bring scale and depth to our portfolio.”
 
Baxter’s portfolio of marketed vaccines consists of NeisVac-C and FSME-IMMUN/TicoVac. NeisVac-C is a vaccine that helps protect against meningitis caused by group C meningococcal meningitis. This serious infection of the membrane covering the brain may be fatal in roughly 10% to 15% of patients and 30% to more than 50% of survivors may suffer from severe physical, social and mental damage. MenC is one of the most prevalent meningococcal serogroups in many parts of the world and vaccination with NeisVac-C has been shown to be highly effective.
 
FSME-IMMUN/TicoVac is a vaccine that helps protect against tick-borne encephalitis, an infection of the brain, which is transmitted by the bite of ticks infected with the TBE-virus. Every year, the TBE virus causes thousands of cases of neuroinvasive illness in humans across Europe and Asia and is a growing public health concern in Europe and other parts of the world3. FSME-IMMUN/TicoVac is approved in 30 countries and has been marketed for over 30 years with approximately 120 million doses produced since 1976. 
 
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions as well as regulatory approvals in several markets, including some countries in the European Union, and is expected to occur by the end of 2014. 
 
Pfizer’s legal advisor for the transaction was Kirkland & Ellis and Credit Suisse Securities served as the financial advisor. 
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