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Francesco identifies next generation of switch

BY Michael Johnsen

LONG BRANCH, N.J. — Francesco International on Tuesday released a Rx-to-OTC projection report covering potential switches through 2016. The potential switches include drugs prescribed for chronic use or for asymptomatic conditions — two switch hurdles that to date have not cleared the Food and Drug Administration approval process.

The report outlined a group of potential nonprescription drugs coined by Francesco International as OTC-E, as in "enabled," to identify switch opportunities that may take advantage of today’s technological innovations to help augment self-diagnoses and self-selection in the OTC aisles.

Any OTC-E medicine would open potential OTC categories to such therapy areas as hypertension, lipid-lowering, osteoporosis, arthritis or incontinence, Francesco suggested.

"The U.S. healthcare system has been in an unsatisfactory gridlock for some years now with payers, providers, pharmaceutical companies, patients and consumers all somewhat frustrated," stated Steven Francesco, the principal author of the report and CEO of Francesco International. “Finally, the major players are now starting to move, and some of the new dynamics, especially the contribution of technology, are becoming apparent. If you can see what is starting to happen overall and then drill down with regard to the Rx-to-OTC switch, you can see some very positive trends emerging," he said. "This report captures what is happening now and what is likely to happen over the next few years, especially the implications for the Rx-to-OTC switch."

Francesco International will be teaming up with global research firm ORC International to present a webinar “The Revival of Rx to OTC Switch: Improved Market Dynamics Fuel Expansion,” scheduled for Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Francesco International also will be presenting a second webinar with the pharmaceutical website Pharmalot.com, “The Major Growth of Rx-to-OTC Switch Category: OTC-E Drugs Will Lead the Way,” on Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

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Energizer presents latest innovations at trade show

BY Allison Cerra

BERLIN — Energizer’s latest portable power solutions are making their debut at the IFA Consumer Electronics Global Trade Show in Berlin this week.

The brand’s power-on-the-go lineup includes:

  • The Energizer portable charger product line’s new design, which includes both black and white color choices on all the universal chargers, including the compact XP1000 and XP2000 that provide emergency power for smartphones, MP3 players and more. The new design and color options also are available for XP4000, the new XP4003, XP8000 and XP18000 but with upgraded technology to handle 5 volt, 2 amp requirements for accommodating tablets, and still power game devices, laptops, netbooks and more;

  • The Energizer SP1001 solar charger, which combines hybrid power (solar or AC) and an integrated carabiner clip for a single, on-the-go solution for cell phones, smartphones and MP3 players that can be taken and used anywhere;

  • Energizer AP750, a follow-up to the popular AP650, which adds extra talk time for just about any micro-USB smartphone. The compact size and slim shape makes this back-up battery easy to carry in a pocket or on a key ring and a convenient way to get additional talk time in a power pinch;

  • The Energizer AP1201 for the iPhone 4, the first silicone rubber case with built-in rechargeable battery, which offers nearly twice the power for iPhone 4 users. The one-piece, protective case provides power and style, while extending the talk time of the iPhone 4 (up to 9.8 hours on a 2G network or 4.8 hours on 3G network), tune time (up to 28 hours), Internet time (up to 7 hours) and standby time (up to 210 hours); and

  • The Energizer XP2000K and XP1000K travel kits offer all-in-one portable power for the home, car and all points in between. They each include a XP2000 or XP1000 power pack, four tips to fit popular handheld devices and AC/DC adapters, all form-fitted into a tough, weather-resistant case.

The products reflect consumers’ "growing enthusiasm" for items that power popular high-tech devices, as well as continued interest in eco-inspired power, Energizer VP marketing Michelle Atkinson said.

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Pfizer moves to acquire majority stake in Icagen

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK — Pfizer has completed its initial cash tender offer for all the shares of drug maker Icagen that it doesn’t already own, Pfizer said Tuesday.

Pfizer, which already owns an 11% stake in Icagen, announced Thursday that it would acquire a majority stake in the company. As of Friday, when the initial tender offer period expired, about 4.6 million shares of Icagen had been put up for sale; combined with Pfizer’s existing stake, this represents about 64% of the North Carolina-based maker of drugs for pain, epilepsy and inflammation.

Pfizer is offering Icagen shareholders $6 per share and said the new offering period would expire next Monday, at which point any shares put up for sale will be accepted for payment immediately.

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