HEALTH

Biocodex promotes Berry to director of marketing

BY Michael Johnsen

SAN BRUNO, Calif. Biocodex on Friday promoted Mary Berry to the position of director of marketing, reporting to Marc Rohman, VP and managing director of U.S. operations Biocodex.

“[Berry] has successfully increased brand awareness of Florastor in the U.S., and through her creative efforts has successfully contributed to increased sales of our flagship product,” Rohman said.

In her new role, Berry will continue to lead Biocodex’ marketing of Florastor as well as assist in the company’s mission to seek out and secure new products.

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SDI develops Web site for asthma patients

BY Alaric DeArment

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. A company that develops healthcare data products has launched a new Web site offering advice to people with asthma in recognition of World Asthma Day, on Tuesday.

The Web site, Azma.com, offers advice and tools including four-day air quality forecasts, 30-day history for all U.S. ZIP codes, alert emails, two-city asthma comparison tools and desktop add-ons with one-day and four-day air quality forecasts.

“According to a recent report by the American Lung Association, asthma prevalence appears to have stabilized, possibly indicating an improved level of disease management,” stated SDI CEO Andrew Kress. “Building on our experience providing actionable disease information around allergies and flu to patients, we created Azma.com to aid in the disease management by providing a resource for asthma sufferers and their families for up-to-date, relevant information that they can turn to 24 hours a day for advice and instruction on managing their asthma.”

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Study suggests obesity may cause allergies in children

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON A new study released by the National Institutes of Health Monday indicates there may be yet another reason to reduce childhood obesity — it may help prevent allergies.

The study published in the May issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that obese children and adolescents are at increased risk of having some kind of allergy, especially to a food.

“We found a positive association between obesity and allergies,” stated Darryl Zeldin, acting clinical director at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and senior author on the paper.

The researchers analyzed data on children and young adults ages 2 to19 from a new national dataset designed to obtain information about allergies and asthma.

“While the results from this study are interesting, they do not prove that obesity causes allergies. More research is needed to further investigate this potential link,” Zeldin said.

“The signal for allergies seemed to be coming mostly from food allergies,” commented NIEHS researcher Stephanie London, a co-author on the study. “The rate of having a food allergy was 59% higher for obese children.”

“As childhood obesity rates rise, NIEHS will continue to work to determine how environmental factors affect this epidemic,” added Linda Birnbaum, NIEHS director. “Seeing a possible link between obesity and allergies provides additional motivation for undertaking the challenge of reducing childhood obesity.”

The study was funded by NIEHS and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, both parts of the National Institutes of Health.

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