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Pillsbury scares up new treats for Halloween

BY Allison Cerra

ORRVILLE, Ohio — Pillsbury is gearing up for Halloween with new seasonal varieties and baking kits.

New to the Pillsbury portfolio is the Pillsbury Funfetti Halloween brownie pop kit, which includes brownie mix, cocoa confectionery wafers, candy bits and pop sticks, and carries a suggested retail price is $3.49. Also new are the Pillsbury Supreme Collection cake mixes, which are available in red velvet with cream cheese filling, fudge truffle with rich fudge filling and apple spice with a sweet apple filling varieties. Each cake mix carries a suggested retail price of $2.99 each.

New limited-edition items include:

  • Funfetti Halloween cake mix and Funfetti Halloween vanilla-flavored frosting, with respective suggested retail prices of $1.59 and $1.99;

  • Funfetti Halloween cookie mix and Funfetti Halloween whoopie pie kit, with respective suggested retail prices of $2.29 and $3.49;

  • Perfectly Pumpkin premium cookie mix and seasonal cream cheese frosting, with respective suggested retail prices of $2.29 and $1.99;

  • Pumpkin Caramel Delight dessert kit, with a suggested retail price of $4.49; and

  • Pumpkin, banana, cranberry and cinnamon swirl seasonal quick bread mixes, with a suggested retail price of $2.59 each.

"The return of fall colors and flavors is always something we look forward to, and this year is no exception," said Maribeth Badertscher, VP corporate communications for J.M. Smucker, Pillsbury’s parent company. "This year we’re excited to bring back some fall favorites along with some fun new options to help families and friends celebrate more memorable moments this season."

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Budweiser donates $2.5 million to Folds of Honor through ‘Walk-off a Hero’ program

BY Allison Cerra

ST. LOUIS — Budweiser announced that its season-long campaign, "Walk-off a Hero," raised $2.5 million for the Folds of Honor Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational scholarships to families of fallen or injured soldiers.

For each of the 205 walk-off wins during the 2012 regular baseball season, Budweiser donated $5,000 to FHF. In addition to the "Walk-off a Hero" program, Budweiser contributed a portion of all sales from May 20 through July 7, raising a total of $2.5 million for FHF. Budweiser presented the donation to FHF founder Major Dan Rooney and the organization on Oct. 3 in front of 42,509 people at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

"Walk-offs are one of the most exciting ways to win in baseball," said Rob McCarthy, Budweiser VP at Anheuser-Busch. "Knowing that each walk-off this season will help support and honor our wounded or fallen heroes and their families made each walk-off even more exciting and meaningful."

Since 1987, Anheuser-Busch and its foundation have donated nearly $11 million to military charities, including the USO, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Pentagon Memorial Fund, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Hispanic War Veterans of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Korean War and Vietnam War Memorials.

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Takeda to acquire LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals

BY Allison Cerra

OSAKA, Japan — Drug maker Takeda announced that its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary has entered a definitive agreement to acquire LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals, a private clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel vaccines for gastrointestinal and respiratory indications.

As part of the deal, Takeda will provide LigoCyte with an upfront payment of $60 million, with future contingent consideration, based on the progress of development projects. LigoCyte’s lead product, a vaccine to prevent norovirus gastroenteritis, is in phase-1/2 of clinical development.

"Takeda’s acquisition of LigoCyte is a major step forward in the expansion of Takeda’s vaccine business, and a demonstration of Takeda’s dedication to preventing illness in children and adults around the world," said Rajeev Venkayya, EVP of Takeda’s Vaccine Business Division, which was launched in January. "Norovirus is the most common cause of outbreaks of gastroenteritis and foodborne illness in the U.S., and is responsible for 200,000 deaths each year, most of them in developing countries. With the only norovirus vaccine in clinical trials today, Takeda will be in a position to change this picture."

To preserve continuity and build upon LigoCyte’s success, Takeda said it will continue operating LigoCyte in Bozeman, Mont., for the foreseeable future and intends to retain the management team and its employees. The companies expect to complete the deal by the end of November.


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