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Lia Diagnostics gains FDA approval for flushable, biodegradable pregnancy test

BY Michael Johnsen

Lia Diagnostics last week announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance for over-the-counter use of the Lia Pregnancy Test, the first and only FDA-cleared, flushable, biodegradable pregnancy test. Lia features a proprietary coating technology, combined with nonwoven and paper techniques, that eliminates the need for plastic, creating a new category of water-dispersible, eco-friendly diagnostics.

"1987 brought us the first cell phone, the boombox, the Apple personal computer and the at-home pregnancy test. They ushered in the era of portable, personal devices, changing the way we communicate and how we share news. It has been 30 years since 1987, and these revolutionary innovations have all advanced significantly – except for one: the at-home pregnancy test," stated Bethany Edwards, CEO Lia Diagnostics. "It is the same, stiff, plastic relic highlighted in movies for its lack of privacy – someone sees the positive result in the trash, and breaks the news before you can. Worse yet, they are bulky, expensive and add two million pounds of plastic and digital waste to U.S. landfills every year.  At Lia, we have modernized the pregnancy test, ditching wasteful plastic and unnecessary electronics for a streamlined alternative that is both good for the environment and more discreet for its users."

Philadelphia-based Lia Diagnostics created the Lia Pregnancy Test for women who value privacy, empowering users to choose how to share their results.  Lia provides users with the convenience to flush their results, eliminating evidence of a pregnancy test.

Lia is more than 99% accurate when used on the day of an expected period and is made of the same natural, plant fibers as most toilet paper and weighs less than six squares of the leading three-ply toilet paper.

Lia made its global debut on Dec. 4, 2017 at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin's Startup Battlefield, the world's leading authority in debuting game-changing technologies and revolutionary startups, and took home the grand prize. The acceptance video is depicted above.

As part of Lia's continued commitment to women, customers can champion for women's reproductive health by donating Lia pregnancy tests to worldwide women's health organizations. Donations of $10 will provide one Lia pregnancy test to non-profit organizations including Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood Global, Whitman-Walker Health, PreserveFertility.org and SOS Grossesse.

Lia Diagnostics is expected to be available to consumers in mid-2018.

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With 0-16 season looming, Cleveland fans find pain-relieving support in Excedrin

BY Michael Johnsen

Warren, N.J.-based GSK Consumer Healthcare on Thursday announced its pain-relieving Excedrin brand will be a signature sponsor of Cleveland's upcoming (and unofficial) Perfect Season Parade slated for Jan. 6 in celebration of the team's historically bad 0-16 season.

"All sports fans have felt a team, game or even single play-induced headache at some point. This season has been especially painful for Cleveland football fans. We want them to know we understand their pain and we're here to help," stated Scott Yacovino, senior brand manager, Excedrin. "That's why Excedrin is so proud to sponsor the Perfect Season Parade. Supporting Cleveland fans' attempt to embrace the silver lining and excitement around coming together to celebrate this historic 'Perfect' not-so-perfect season. It's truly heartbreaking – and headache inducing – to watch your favorite team fall short, and we hope the headache relief we can provide will help make Jan. 6 memorable."

The grassroots event was first organized by long time Cleveland football fan and season ticket holder Chris McNeil through a GoFundMe page.

"I'm a lifetime fan of the Cleveland Browns and they have given me my share of headaches on Sundays," McNeil said.  "Cleveland fans are passionate about this team even when the team literally gives us zero in return. That's why I'm excited to have Excedrin sponsoring The Perfect Season Parade to help us Browns fans deal with the pain so we can focus on having a little fun January 6th."

Excedrin donated the final $7,683 to fulfill the event's goal on the GoFundMe page and help cover the cost of security, restrooms and medical personnel.  "If the Browns unexpectedly luck into a win this season, all funds (sans the gofundme cut) will be donated to the Cleveland Food Bank," McNeil noted on his GoFundMe site.

 

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Ahold Delhaize brings its U.S. companies together under new parent company, CEO

BY Michael Johnsen

Ahold Delhaize on Thursday named Kevin Holt CEO of its newly minted Ahold Delhaize USA division, which will serve as the parent company for all of Ahold Delhaize's U.S. companies, including its local brands, Stop & Shop, Food Lion, Giant, Hannaford, Giant/Martin's and Peapod, as well as Retail Business Services, the U.S. shared services company providing support to the brands.

"Combining the parent companies of the U.S. brands and RBS is the natural next step in our brand-centric strategy in the U.S.," Ahold Delhaize CEO Dick Boer said. "Kevin is an outstanding leader with extensive food retail experience and a great choice to guide our U.S. businesses through this time of continuing change and evolving customer expectations."

Holt currently is COO of Ahold USA. In this new role, effective Jan. 1, 2018, he will remain a member of Ahold Delhaize's management board and executive committee and will continue to report Boer.

"I'm excited that we are moving into this next phase where we can focus on further strengthening our brands and winning in our markets," Holt said. "Ahold Delhaize USA and its U.S. brands are well positioned to continue to drive growth and innovation and meet the evolving needs of customers, both in stores and online."

The company said that Frans Muller, deputy CEO Ahold Delhaize and chief integration officer, who serves as acting COO Delhaize America will focus on the continued smooth integration of Ahold Delhaize.

Holt joined Delhaize Group in 2014 as CEO Delhaize America and transitioned to COO Ahold USA in 2017. Prior to joining Ahold Delhaize, he served in executive leadership roles at Supervalu and Meijer.

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