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Allergan expands eye care pipeline with acquisition

BY David Salazar
DUBLIN and ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Allergan announced Tuesday that it had acquired substantially all of the assets of RetroSense Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on novel gene therapy approaches to restore vision for patients with blindness. The acquisition saw Allergan pay RetroSense a $60 million upfront payment, with the promise of potential regulatory and commercialization milestone payments for the company’s lead development program, RST-001 — a potential therapy for retinitis pigmentosa. 
 
"The acquisition of RetroSense and its RST-001 program builds on Allergan's deep commitment to eye care, and our focus on investing in game-changing innovation for retinal conditions, including Retinitis Pigmentosa, where patients desperately need treatment options," Allergan president and CEO Brent Saunders said. 
 
Currently, RST-001 has been administered in a low dose to patients enrolled in a Phase 1/IIa clinical trial. The drug is a gene therapy that uses an approach that confers light sensitivity to cells that weren’t previously or natively light sensitive. 
 
"With its deep commitment to eye care, strong eye care professional community network, and its commitment to advancing innovation across retinal conditions, Allergan was the most compelling partner and the best strategic fit to advance the development of RST-001 and maximize the potential for this technology platform," RetroSense Therapeutics’s former CEO, Sean Ainsworth, said. “The addition of RST-001 to Allergan's world-class eye care development and commercialization organization will position this potentially revolutionary technology to be used by ophthalmology professionals to improve the treatment of patients with retinal diseases around the world.”
 
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Walmart, MoneyGram partner on new online money transfer platform

BY Michael Johnsen

DALLAS – MoneyGram and Walmart on Tuesday announced the launch of a new state-of-the-art online money transfer platform that offers customers new features and a streamlined experience when sending money through Walmart.moneygram.com.

"We are pleased to be a part of this exciting opportunity to help Walmart deliver a true omni-channel experience. For nearly 20 years MoneyGram and Walmart have worked together to provide our customers with the highest quality and most convenient financial services," stated Juan Agualimpia, MoneyGram's chief marketing officer and Walmart senior leader. "This new offering is a testament to our combined commitment to our customers."  

"Improving the customer experience to save time as well as money is a priority for Walmart," added Kirsty Ward, senior director of financial services, Walmart U.S.  "This new digital experience for MoneyGram transfers at Walmart.com is another example of delivering seamless solutions for customers wherever they choose to shop."

The upgraded Walmart.Moneygram.com site is built on MoneyGram's new cutting-edge MTaaS platform (Money Transfer as a Service).  MTaaS extends the same convenient services as MoneyGram's website, moneygram.com to third party allies through a co-branded experience.

"We are pleased to build upon the investments we are making to our innovative online capabilities," said Alex Hoffmann, MoneyGram's chief product officer. "MTaaS offers a third party solution to our strategic business partners looking for a powerful online site to connect with customers that can also be branded and updated easily."

For customers, the site provides innovative features such as guest sending and MoneyGram's "Track a Transfer" tool when they need to send money to any of MoneyGram's estimated 350,000 locations as well as bank accounts around the globe through Walmart.Moneygram.com.

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OtterBox unveils exotic patterns for iPhone

BY Gina Acosta

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — OtterBox is giving consumers new options when it comes to phone cases with its new Strada Series, featuring genuine leather with exotic patterns and styling.

Making their public debut during New York Fashion Week, the new Strada Series patterns cover iPhone in a slim protective shell with a premium leather exterior. The design combines a classic, tailored look with slim protection. Strada Series is coming soon in Oynx, classic black with accent stitching, and two chic snakeskin patterns, Stone Serpent and Wooded Serpent.

"Leather is a classic fashion trend that never goes out of style," said OtterBox CEO Jim Parke. "The new Strada Series styles have a truly classic look with a premium feel that continue to withstand the realities of daily life."

While designed with sophistication at the forefront, Strada Series also offers trusted OtterBox protection. The leather iPhone 6s case helps protect against bumps, shock and scratches with a super slim, sleek form. The slightly raised edge along the front of the case keeps the iPhone display from making contact during face-down drops and an included Alpha Glass screen protector stops scratches from reaching your brilliant display.

Strada Series Limited Edition + Alpha Glass for iPhone 6/6s, $79.95, and iPhone 6 Plus/6s Plus, $89.95, in Onyx, Wooded Serpent and Stone Serpent patterns are coming soon to retailers nationwide.

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