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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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Bare Escentuals to launch first-ever global platform, creates BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow for fall

BY Antoinette Alexander

SAN FRANCISCO — Bare Escentuals is launching in September its first-ever global creative platform and marketing campaign, “Be a Force of Beauty,” aimed at amplifying the core belief that beauty can change the world, both by inspiring positivity and activating women to put beauty into action.

“Celebrating women isn’t new for us; it’s who we are and what we do. It’s always been more than a philosophy; it’s really our DNA,” explained Leslie Blodgett, executive chairman of Bare Escentuals. “We have a responsibility to not just tell a singular story of beauty, but [also] share in the collective spirit of women around the globe.”

The new global platform is a natural extension to the brand, which pays tribute to the millions of women who have established Bare Escentuals as the original community brand, is as much about peer-to-peer community as it is about beauty products. “Be a Force of Beauty” is the next evolution of the brand’s commitment to engage women in real, open and honest dialogue and will serve as a call to action to further ignite the conversation around beauty, the company stated.

The first iteration of “Be a Force of Beauty” will kick off in North America in early September and will roll out to international markets in spring 2012, when each campaign will evolve from region to region. Supported by integrated marketing efforts, the campaign creative will feature five women, each personifying a “force of beauty.”

The global campaign will be supported by TV, print, digital and social marketing efforts throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

The empowering message behind "Be a Force of Beauty" augments the less-is-more approach of Bare Escentuals’ BareMinerals product line. Bare Escentuals has now expanded its portfolio with the new BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow, a new innovative concept in solid mineral technology for fall 2011. Created through a unique cold-pressed method, the formula combines a proprietary SeaNutritive Mineral Complex with antioxidants, cold-pressed borage oil, caffeine and cucumber to deliver anti-aging benefits, including depuffing and antioxidant protection for a softer, smoother, revitalized eye area.

BareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow will first appear in the “Be a Force of Beauty” campaign this October to mark its official launch in North America, followed by a global rollout in spring/summer 2012.

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CDC reports rise in child vaccinations

BY Alaric DeArment

ATLANTA — Childhood vaccination rates are on the rise, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC’s 2010 National Immunization Survey of more than 17,000 households found that among children born between January 2007 and July 2009, immunizations for measles, mumps, rubella, rotavirus, hepatitis A, pneumococcal disease and haemophilus influenza type B were at 90% or more. In addition, vaccinations against polio, chickenpox and hepatitis B were remained at or above 90%.

"As recent outbreaks of measles and whooping cough have shown, vaccine-preventable diseases are still around us," CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases director Anne Schuchat said. "And it is important that healthcare providers, community groups and state programs support parents in assuring that children are protected from vaccine-preventable diseases."

Notably, for most vaccines, immunization rates did not differ between racial and ethnic groups, and thanks to recent increases in coverage among minority children, levels for most vaccines in other racial and ethnic groups were similar to or higher than those among white children. This contrasts with other health services, where large disparities have remained. Overall, less than 1% of toddlers did not receive any vaccines.

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