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Study: Zinc good for healthy immune function, destroying viruses, bacteria

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Zinc not only supports healthy immune function, but increases activation of T cells responsible for destroying viruses and bacteria, according to a new study.

According to the study found in the 2009 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, scientists found that T cells taken from the zinc-supplemented group had higher activation than those from the placebo group.

“As the debate over zinc supplementation in healthy individuals continues,” said John Wherry, Ph.D., deputy editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, “studies like this help shed light on how zinc may enhance the ability of our immune systems to fight off foreign invaders. Equally important, this work points toward new possible targets for entirely new drugs to help augment immune function and prevent or stop infections that might be resistant to traditional antibiotics.”

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Craig C. Phillips elected VP, general manager of the oncology business unit at Cephalon

BY Anna Mcgrath

FRAZER, Pa. Cephalon announced Craig C. Phillips was elected VP and general manager of the oncology business unit.

Phillips will be responsible for managing all aspects of the U.S. oncology business including sales, marketing and medical affairs.

“Since joining Cephalon two years ago, Craig has clearly demonstrated an ability to exceed expectations and bring value to our organization through his leadership,” said Robert Roche, EVP of worldwide pharmaceutical operations. “I am confident that Craig’s leadership and vision will support the dynamic growth of the Cephalon oncology business and allow us to continue to bring medicines that matter to the healthcare professionals and patients battling cancer.”

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Spartan fights economy with jump in net sales

BY Alaric DeArment

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Supermarket operator Spartan Stores had a $9.3 million jump in consolidated net sales during first quarter of its fiscal year 2010, the company announced in an earnings release this week.

That and a 9.4% increase in EBITDA stemmed mostly from Spartan’s acquisition of VG’s Food and Pharmacy stores, the company said. First-quarter operating earnings increased moderately, to $15.1 million compared with first quarter fiscal year 2009.

“We are pleased to report steady operating profits despite the prolonged economic challenges and the incremental costs associated with this year’s business and operational initiatives,” Spartan president and CEO Dennis Eidson said in a statement. “As anticipated, comparable store sales at our retail supermarkets declined during the quarter due to economic uncertainty, which is causing changes in consumer purchase behavior, such as a shift to lower-priced private label products, and price deflation in certain high-volume product categories.”

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