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Pfizer acquires Baxter International vaccine portfolio for $635 million

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Pfizer on Wednesday announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Baxter International’s portfolio of marketed vaccines for $635 million. As part of the transaction, Pfizer will also acquire a portion of Baxter’s facility in Orth, Austria, where these vaccines are manufactured.  
 
“For [more than] a decade, Pfizer has been the global leader in pneumococcal disease prevention," said Susan Silbermann, Pfizer Vaccines president. "We are working hard to bring innovative vaccines to market that prevent and treat serious diseases. Through this acquisition, we will add two high-quality and life-saving vaccines that bring scale and depth to our portfolio.”
 
Baxter’s portfolio of marketed vaccines consists of NeisVac-C and FSME-IMMUN/TicoVac. NeisVac-C is a vaccine that helps protect against meningitis caused by group C meningococcal meningitis. This serious infection of the membrane covering the brain may be fatal in roughly 10% to 15% of patients and 30% to more than 50% of survivors may suffer from severe physical, social and mental damage. MenC is one of the most prevalent meningococcal serogroups in many parts of the world and vaccination with NeisVac-C has been shown to be highly effective.
 
FSME-IMMUN/TicoVac is a vaccine that helps protect against tick-borne encephalitis, an infection of the brain, which is transmitted by the bite of ticks infected with the TBE-virus. Every year, the TBE virus causes thousands of cases of neuroinvasive illness in humans across Europe and Asia and is a growing public health concern in Europe and other parts of the world3. FSME-IMMUN/TicoVac is approved in 30 countries and has been marketed for over 30 years with approximately 120 million doses produced since 1976. 
 
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions as well as regulatory approvals in several markets, including some countries in the European Union, and is expected to occur by the end of 2014. 
 
Pfizer’s legal advisor for the transaction was Kirkland & Ellis and Credit Suisse Securities served as the financial advisor. 
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Ad Age report: J&J’s baby brand targets millennial moms via social media initiative

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Johnson & Johnson’s baby brand is looking to reach millennial moms via a massive social media effort that will comprise 40 different videos, according to Ad Age.

The first video, titled “Our Promise,” launched on Wednesday and centers on the brand’s promise to remove potentially harmful ingredients from products.
 
"We recognized that in order to connect with the millennial mom, we really needed to be very transparent," Kelly Gottfried, marketing director of Johnson's Baby was quoted as saying in the Ad Age article. She emphasized that "the products were always safe. But as a mom, I understand you hear certain buzzwords about certain ingredients, and that causes concerns at any level."

The company will share the video through its YouTube channel and Facebook page and will also ask its employees to share the video through their own social-networking channels, the article stated.

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Former P&G chief Robert McDonald confirmed to lead Veterans Affairs

BY Antoinette Alexander

WASHINGTON — As expected, former Procter & Gamble head Robert McDonald has been confirmed to serve as Veterans Affairs secretary.

In a statement, President Barack Obama applauded the U.S. Senate for the Tuesday’s confirmation, saying, “As a veteran himself and a proud member of a military family, Bob is deeply committed to serving our veterans and their families. And as an executive with decades of private-sector experience, he is uniquely equipped to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, and to help change the way the VA does business. As a country, we have a solemn duty to serve our veterans as well as they have served us. I know Bob will help us honor that commitment and make sure every veteran gets the care they deserve, the benefits they’ve earned and the chance to pursue the American dream they’ve risked so much to protect. “  
 

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