HEALTH

Genzyme again rejects Sanofi buyout offer

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. The board of directors of Genzyme again has rejected a buyout offer by French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis, Genzyme said Thursday.

The biotech company’s board unanimously turned down the hostile offer Sanofi made Monday to acquire Genzyme for $18.5 billion, or $69 per share, saying it was “opportunistic” and undervalued the company.

 

Specifically, Genzyme said Sanofi’s offer failed to recognize its late-stage development pipeline, which includes three drugs it plans to launch by the end of 2013, including alemtuzumab, a therapy for multiple sclerosis that the company said was “potentially transformative” and had potential to capture a significant share of the global MS market after its 2012 launch. The company also has pursued a plan to cut costs and improve manufacturing and other operations, which it said Sanofi’s deal did not take into account.

 

 

Genzyme focuses on therapies to treat such rare, genetic diseases as Fabry disease and Gaucher disease, but shortages of drugs used to treat those diseases –– such as Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta) and Cerezyme (imiglucerase) –– arose last year due to product contamination issues at Genzyme’s manufacturing plants.

 

 

If successful, Sanofi’s acquisition of Genzyme would be among the largest in the industry since the wave of high-priced buyouts last year in which Pfizer bought Wyeth, Merck bought Schering-Plough and Roche bought the remaining stock of Genentech that it didn’t already own. In all three cases, the main objective was to gain access to the acquired companies’ significant portfolios and pipelines of specialty drugs, particularly biologics.

 

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GNC highlights endurance selection

BY Michael Johnsen

PITTSBURGH GNC on Thursday announced it would highlight its new “Endurance Wall,” which includes as many as 50 SKUs, at two upcoming endurance events.

“The GNC endurance selection is an amazing array of products designed to meet the specific needs of serious athletes across all sports and activities. No matter what their level of experience, GNC has the right product,” stated Tom Dowd, EVP store operations and development.

The new wall will house the on-course drinks for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 9, and from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10.

“GNC supports a wide range of athletic events around the country, but these two events symbolize the GNC Live Well premise –– that all athletes, whether professionals or serious amateurs, can participate in open events that provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate that their training, with its highs and lows, is worth it all,” stated Dave Sims, GNC VP direct marketing and two-time Hawaii Ironman participant.

In Kona, the PowerBar Ironman Perform is the on-course drink for the race. GNC’s Kona store is only two blocks from the start/finish line and the bike and run components of the race go past it on the way out and coming back. More than 1,800 participants are expected in the Hawaii Ironman event, with thousands more cheering them on.

In Chicago, Gatorade’s G Series Pro 02 endurance formula is the on-course drink for the 33rd running of the marathon. In addition to on-course availability, marathoners and spectators alike will be able to find G Series Pro 02 at GNC stores in the area. As well as the thousands of spectators in downtown Chicago, there will be 38,000 runners, including more than 20,000 from outside Illinois.

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Professional Therapy MuscleCare gets ECRM best new product award

BY Michael Johnsen

LAS VEGAS Professional Therapy MuscleCare last month was awarded “best new product” at the ECRM Health Management EPPS held here. The award, sponsored by Drug Store News, is presented to the manufacturer that collects the most “best new product” votes from retailers attending the event.

As part of its initial rollout, MuscleCare has penned a sponsorship deal with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic, a group of sports chiropractors from 30 countries that treat Olympic and nationally ranked athletes.

The company fields two topical pain-relief products — topical Professional Therapy MuscleCare extra-strength roll-on gel and Professional Therapy MuscleCare ointment — and presently has distribution through Duane Reade and CVS.com. The products contain camphor and menthol to relax tissue and increase the flow of healthy blood, and nutrients in order to reset the muscle to its normal resting length and promote healing.

 

"The topical pain-relief industry has long been lacking in safety and efficacy, and I have gone to great lengths and conducted a thorough clinical study to change that," stated Chris Oswald, CEO of Professional Therapy MuscleCare, when debuting the product earlier this year.

 

 

The retail price is $19.99 for the roll-on gel and $25.99 for the ointment.

 

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