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Merck’s Grastek receives FDA approval

BY Ryan Chavis

WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — Merck announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved Grastek (Timothy grass pollen allergen extract) tablet for sublingual use. The drug is an allergen extract used for the treatment of grass pollen-induced allergic rhinitis with or without conjunctivitis. It is approved for use in persons ages 5 years through 65 years of age.

“Every grass pollen season, many patients with moderate to severe allergic rhinitis experience nasal and ocular allergy symptoms at their worst while taking symptom-relieving medication,” said Dr. David Bernstein, professor of medicine and environmental health in the division of immunology, allergy and rheumatology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. “These patients often have multiple sensitivities. Some of these patients may be candidates for immunotherapy, but decline allergy shots. With the FDA approval of Grastek, allergy specialists now have a new sublingual approach to offer these patients for their grass allergies.”

Timothy grass is one of the most common grass types in the United States, and has shown to be cross-reactive with other grasses, such as sweet vernal, orchard (or cocksfoot) and perennial rye, among others.

 

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Quest Products to relaunch Alocane Emergency Burn Gel

BY Michael Johnsen

GURNEE, Ill. — Quest Products on Friday announced the addition of a gel formulated for emergency burn relief, Alocane Emergency Burn Gel, to its current line of products. Previously a top-selling product on retail shelves in the 80’s and 90’s, it was taken off the market due to financial difficulties facing the parent company, First Pharmaceutical.

Alocane Maximum Strength Emergency Burn Gel is a water based gel that delivers fast pain relief at the site of the burn. One of the differentiating factors of Alocane when compared to other products on the market is that it contains 4% Lidocaine, the highest level available. Also, Alocane’s proprietary formula is water-based, as opposed to oil or petroleum, which can trap heat into the skin and slow down the body’s natural healing process. Added aloe vera and vitamin E provide skin-soothing properties like itch relief in addition to healing benefits that can reduce scarring.

"Consumers have been looking for Alocane for years," said Ron May, creator of Alocane, "and now with the partnership with Quest we are able to make it available again." Alocane can be used on a variety of burns including flame, friction, sun, electrical and even on burns associated with radiation treatment.

Alocane is currently available for retail purchase online, QuestHealth.net as well as other online retailers such as Amazon.com. Shoppers can also look for Alocane at their local drug stores in the coming months.  

Alocane Plus, intended for more severe burns, is available only to the medical community by request.

 

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Safeway completes distribution of Blackhawk Networks Holdings stock

BY Michael Johnsen

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway on Monday completed the distribution to its stockholders of 37.8 million shares of Class B common stock of Blackhawk Networks Holdings owned by Safeway. After the completion of the distribution, Safeway no longer owns any shares of Class B common stock of Blackhawk.

The distribution by Safeway was made Monday, in the form of a pro rata common stock dividend, of its Class B common stock equity interest in Blackhawk to all Safeway stockholders of record on April 3. Safeway stockholders have received 0.164291 of a share of Blackhawk Class B common stock, in book-entry form, for every share of Safeway common stock held as of the close of business on April 3. No fractional shares of Blackhawk Class B common stock were distributed. Instead, Safeway stockholders received cash in lieu of any fraction of a share of Blackhawk Class B common stock that they otherwise would have received.

Starting on April 15, the when-issued market for Safeway common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (previously trading under the symbol "SWYWI" or "SWY-WI" on certain websites) will no longer be available, and the "regular way" market for Safeway will be trading "ex" or, in other words, without the entitlement of the shares of Blackhawk Class B common stock.

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