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Same-store sales jump 5% for Fred’s

BY Michael Johnsen

MEMPHIS, Tenn. Fred’s on Wednesday posted sales of $134.3 million, representing an increase of 5%, for the four weeks ended Aug. 28. Comparable-store sales for the month increased 3.6%, versus a decrease of 1.4% in the same period last year.

“August sales continued the positive pattern set in the first half of the year and provide a solid start to the third quarter,” stated Bruce Efird, Fred’s CEO. “Comparable-store sales for the month were at the higher end of our quarterly guidance, driven by general merchandise departments and increased customer traffic. The Core 5 program, as well as the success of our back-to-school promotions, continues to validate the marketing and merchandising programs initiated earlier this year.”

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Pfizer to acquire FoldRx

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Pfizer announced Wednesday that it will acquire a privately held drug discovery and clinical development company.

FoldRx’s portfolio includes clinical and preclinical programs for investigational compounds to treat diseases caused by protein misfolding, which increasingly is recognized as an underlying cause in many chronic degenerative diseases. FoldRx’s lead product candidate, tafamidis meglumine, is an oral, disease-modifying therapy for TTR amyloid polyneuropathy (ATTR-PN), a progressively fatal genetic neurodegenerative disease, for which liver transplant is the only treatment option that currently is available, the companies said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“By combining FoldRx’s proprietary expertise in identifying and developing treatments for protein misfolding diseases with Pfizer’s commercial, medical and regulatory expertise, and global strengths in patient services and reimbursement, we are taking a significant step toward potentially bringing, for the first time, a nonsurgical treatment option for underserved patients affected by the deadly disease ATTR-PN,” said Geno Germano, president and general manager of Pfizer’s specialty care business unit. “This transaction will add another important component to the growing portfolio of innovative in-line and investigational medicines for orphan and rare diseases within Pfizer’s specialty care business, and will complement the current and planned future research and clinical development taking place in Pfizer’s specialty care neuroscience disease area.”

Added FoldRx president and CEO Richard Labaudiniere, “Pfizer’s strong clinical and regulatory resources, global marketing reach and commitment to the treatment of rare diseases will significantly enhance the ability to pursue the goal of efficiently bringing tafamidis to all patients affected by this devastating neurodegenerative disease.”

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Connoisseurs Products’ Diamond Dazzle Stik to make retail debut

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK Hitting retail shelves this fall is the new Diamond Dazzle Stik, which is a portable diamond cleaner that is sized to fit in a makeup bag or purse, from Connoisseurs Products.

The Diamond Dazzle Stik uses a twist-to-dispense click pen to deliver the cleansing solution to a flow-through brush. The brush has been engineered specifically to clean behind diamonds and other precious stones and their mountings.

The formula contains microfine cleansers and polishing agents combined with polymer. The polymer fills in fine scratches on the setting, increases the sparkle of the diamond and reduces future build-up of dirt.

To promote the launch, the manufacturer is launching a multipronged advertising program that includes sampling, social media efforts on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, branded television spots and consumer contests.

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