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AmerisourceBergen sells contract pharmaceutical packaging business to Frazier Healthcare

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — Frazier Healthcare on Tuesday announced its acquisition of AndersonBrecon, the contract pharmaceutical packaging business and wholly owned subsidiary of AmerisourceBergen. Packaging Coordinators, a provider of pharmaceutical and biotechnology packaging services and Frazier Healthcare portfolio company, will combine with AndersonBrecon to offer services on a global scale.

"We are pleased to merge two stellar players within the pharmaceutical and biotech packaging business and believe that the combined company will deliver industry leading quality and service to our customers and a world-class environment for our employees," stated Nathan Every, Frazier Healthcare general partner and PCI board member.

The purchase price for the transaction is $308 million in cash, subject to customary adjustments for, among other things, the working capital of the business. In addition to Frazier, the investor group includes affiliates of Greenspring Associates, QIC Global Private Equity and Thomas McNerney & Partners, who were part of the transaction. 

The purchase of AndersonBrecon is subject to customary closing conditions, including certain regulatory reviews, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013. RBC Capital Markets acted as exclusive financial advisor to PCI, Frazier Healthcare and co-sponsors.

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Study shows increased incidence of celiac disease

BY Jason Owen

ROCHESTER, Minn. — A population-based study in Olmsted County, Minn., has shown an increase in the incidence of celiac disease, a digestive condition triggered by eating protein gluten.

The study, which appeared in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, used records from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, as well as medical, histopathology, and CD serology records to identify all new cases of CD in Olmsted County from 2000 to 2010. Findings concluded that 249 people were diagnosed with CD within the decade, an increase of 11.1 per 100,000 people to 17.4 per 100,000 people. While the study concluded, "The incidence of CD has continued to increase in the past decade in a North American population," the authors noted a "two-slope pattern, with the incidence leveling off after 2004."

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, "People with celiac disease who eat foods containing gluten experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients."

Common symptoms include abdominal pain and diarrhea. The decreased nutrient absorption can also cause vitamin deficiencies that can provide vital nourishment to the body. There is no cure for celiac disease, though changes in diet can help manage the disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Protein gluten is commonly found in breads, pastas, pizza crusts, and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye.


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Safeway launches annual campaign for people with disabilities

BY Alaric DeArment

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway has launched its annual April fundraising campaign to benefit people with disabilities, the supermarket chain said Monday.

The company said The Safeway Foundation, its philanthropic arm, had launched the campaign to benefit Easter Seals, Special Olympics and other groups, saying its Support for People with Disabilities campaign had contributed more than $140 million.

"We have designated April as our time to make a difference in the lives of countless people served by these well-respected organizations," Safeway EVP and Safeway Foundation chairwoman Larree Renda said. "Because one-in-five people live with a physical or intellectual disability, few causes resonate as deeply with our employees, customers and in our neighborhoods as the need to help people with disabilities reach their full potential."

 

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