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Auxilium receives FDA approval for Dupuytren’s contracture treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug for treating a debilitating hand condition which affects an estimated 13.5 million to 27 million Caucasians in the United States and Europe, the agency announced Tuesday.

The FDA approved Xiaflex (collagenase clostridium histolyticum), made by Malvern, Pa.-based Auxilium Pharmaceuticals. The drug is used to treat Dupuytren’s contracture, which causes collagen to build up in the connective tissue beneath the skin in the palm of the hand, forming rope-like cords of tissue that can prevent the fingers from being able to relax and straighten normally.

The drug, an injectable biologic, works by breaking down the excess collagen in the hand.

“Before the FDA approved Xiaflex, the only effective treatment for this hand disorder was surgery, which sometimes meant a long recovery and the need for physical therapy for patients,” FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research director for anesthesiology, analgesia and rheumatology Bob Rappaport said. “Since there are no other non-surgical alternatives for Dupuytren’s contracture, Xiaflex will be an important advance in the management of this disabling condition.”

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Weis Markets creates regional VP position

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis on Monday announced three new regional VPs — a new position at the company — responsible for overseeing its 164 stores, according to published reports.

The new VPs are Jerry Hatch, Brad Kochenour and Mike Mignola.

Hatch was a regional director overseeing stores in the Northeast and central Pennsylvania. He will cover a similar territory as regional VP.

Kochenour, who also served as a regional director, will oversee a region extending from Altoona, Pa., to Newton, N.J.

And Mignola will oversee stores in Maryland and West Virginia, as well as stores in Lancaster, Pa. and York, Pa. Mignola most recently was a general manager for Weis stores in Maryland and West Virginia.

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NCR rolls out Blockbuster Express DVD-rental kiosks in Bashas, Food City

BY Allison Cerra

DULUTH, Ga. NCR Corp. recently installed Blockbuster Express DVD-rental kiosks at more than 100 Bashas’ and Food City supermarkets in Arizona.

Each Blockbuster Express kiosk holds more than 900 DVDs, providing the largest selection of popular movie titles and new releases of any DVD rental kiosk. No membership is required – customers simply swipe their credit card and are charged $1 per night for a rental. A DVD can then be returned to any Blockbuster Express kiosk – not just where the DVD was rented.

“Our customers can now get great deals on everyday grocery items and new-release movie rentals at our stores,” said Kristy Nied, director of communications for Bashas’ Family of Stores. “Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Blockbuster Express kiosk allows us to combine an inexpensive at-home meal with an affordable, convenient entertainment option.”

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