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China Securities Regulatory Commission approves Alliance Boots stake in pharmaceutical distributor

BY Michael Johnsen

ZUG, Switzerland — Alliance Boots on Monday announced that China Securities Regulatory Commission has approved the group's investment in Nanjing Pharmaceutical Company Limited. This approval, following the authorization recently received from China's Ministry of Commerce, paves the way for the completion of the investment in the coming weeks. 
 
As a result of the investment, Alliance Boots will become the second largest shareholder in Nanjing Pharmaceutical Company Limited with Board and operational management.
 
In September 2012, Alliance Boots announced that it will acquire a 12% stake in Nanjing Pharmaceutical Company Limited, through a private placement, for a total consideration of approximately £56 million ($91 million in today's dollars). Nanjing Pharmaceutical Company Limited, listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, is the seventh-largest pharmaceutical wholesaler in China with sales of around $3.3 billion in 2013.
 
Alliance Boots first entered the Chinese market in 2008 through its joint venture Guangzhou Pharmaceuticals Corporation, which operates in complementary geographies and continues its successful development.
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Walmart names Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom to board

BY Michael Johnsen

 

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart on Monday named Kevin Systrom, an entrepreneur, software engineer and co-founder of photo-sharing service Instagram, as a new member of the company’s board, effective Sept. 26. Systrom becomes the 15th member of the board and will also serve as a member of the company’s Technology and eCommerce Committee and its Compensation, Nominating and Governance Committee.
 
“Kevin’s entrepreneurial background and his technical and digital expertise will be invaluable as we further connect with customers and deploy new capabilities through e-commerce and mobile channels,” stated Walmart chairman Rob Walton. “Walmart is investing in e-commerce capabilities through talent, technology and fulfillment. Kevin’s passion and deep knowledge of social media align with our focus to engage customers through our digital and physical channels.”
 
“Walmart has had a profound impact as a global leader in retail,” Systrom said. “It’s an honor to join the Walmart board and have an opportunity to help provide more convenient and flexible ways for people to shop.”
 
Systrom, 30, is best known as CEO and co-founder of Instagram, the photo-and-video sharing social networking service. Founded in 2010, Instagram was acquired by Facebook in August 2012. Systrom is currently CEO of Instagram, where he is responsible for its day-to-day operations and has overseen its growth to more than 200 million monthly active accounts.
 
A native of Massachusetts, Systrom holds a B.S. in management science and engineering from Stanford University. Since 2011, Systrom has consistently been ranked in lists such as Fortune's 40-under-40 and TIME’s 100 most influential people.

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Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions makes KEW’s diagnostic services available to oncology customers

BY Michael Johnsen

DUBLIN, Ohio — Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions and KEW Group, a privately held oncology services company, on Monday announced an agreement for the two companies to make KEW's diagnostic services available to Specialty Solutions' community oncology customers.
 
"We are committed to working with all players in the healthcare system to ensure the right patients are treated at the right time, with the most effective medication, in the most convenient, accessible setting," stated Scott Howell, SVP clinical services for Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions. "Our expanded agreement with KEW helps us deliver on that commitment, by providing community oncologists with access to advanced diagnostics tools that can help them make the best, most informed treatment decisions for their patients, while improving the overall cost effectiveness of care." 
 
Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions customers will now have access to KEW's CancerPlex, a versatile and comprehensive genetic test providing accurate, thorough and timely molecular diagnosis of patients' solid tumors, providing oncologists the ability to manage their treatment decisions with the precision provided by personalized medicine. 
 
CancerPlex simultaneously provides complete sequence coverage of more than 410 cancer genes; simplifies and streamlines the test-ordering process by eliminating serial "hotspot" tests; delivers a comprehensive report, including actionable data; informs physicians of optimal treatment options using approved therapies and available clinical trials; and supports clinical trial enrollment by providing oncologists with required molecular data.
 
CancerPlex testing is performed at KEW's CLIA laboratory. After an oncologist orders CancerPlex, KEW facilitates tumor specimen retrieval from the patient's pathologist; analyzes the specimen at its CLIA lab and then reports the findings to the oncologist. This process reveals genetic and genomic changes that impact a patient's optimal treatment options, and which may otherwise remain undiscovered by limited genetic screening or less comprehensive tests. KEW then provides the oncologist with information on diagnostic findings and potential treatment options (including clinical trials) that are most appropriate for the patient.
 
"We are excited to make our leading-edge molecular sequencing tumor diagnostics tools available to the nationwide network of community oncologists served by Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions," stated Scott Schell, CEO of KEW Group. "We look forward to working with Specialty Solutions and community oncologists – who treat 80% of cancer patients in the United States – empowering them with the ability to provide personalized medicine treatments previously only available at large cancer treatment and academic centers."
 
Earlier this year, KEW announced that it had closed a private round of financing with Cardinal Health and the Bolyston Street Group. John Sullivan, VP strategy and corporate development at Cardinal Health, serves KEW's board of directors.  
 
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