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Millipore officially becomes part of Merck KGaA

BY Alaric DeArment

DARMSTADT, Germany German drug maker Merck KGaA has finished acquiring U.S. life-sciences company Millipore, Merck KGaA said Thursday.

Merck KGaA, a distinct company from U.S.-based Merck, bought Billerica, Mass.-based Millipore for $7 billion, having agreed to buy it in February. As a subsidiary, Millipore will be renamed Merck Millipore.

“With today’s launch of Merck Millipore, we are creating a world-class partner for the life science sector with a comprehensive product offering and enhanced global scale and innovative power,” Merck KGaA executive board chairman Karl-Ludwig Kley said. “We will now move quickly to bring together the expertise and complementary capabilities of both Merck and Millipore employees to capture the significant opportunities in the high-growth, high-margin market segments such as bio-research and bio-production.”

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‘Preschool is Cool: Counting with Elmo’ arrives on DVD this fall

BY Allison Cerra

BURBANK, Calif. Warner Home Video is bringing Sesame Street’s beloved resident, Elmo, to DVD.

“Preschool is Cool: Counting with Elmo” supports such early math skills as number recognition, counting and enumeration with the help of Elmo and his friends.

“Warner Home Video is very happy to introduce ‘Counting with Elmo, ‘our newest DVD title in Sesame Street’s new DVD set ‘Preschool is Cool,’” said Amit Desai, WHV VP family animation and partner brands marketing. “Counting is an essential tool that every preschooler must learn and there’s nobody better than the beloved Elmo and Professor Grover to show kids how fun and exciting numbers can be.”

“Preschool is Cool: Counting with Elmo” is available on DVD Sept. 14, for a suggested retail priceof $14.98.

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Keryx gets orphan-drug designation for neuroblastoma treatment

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK The Food and Drug Administration has given special designation to an investigational treatment for a cancer of the nervous system that affects children.

Keryx Biopharmaceuticals announced Wednesday that it received orphan drug designation for KRX-0401 (perifosine), a treatment for neuroblastoma. No FDA-approved treatments exist for the disease.

The FDA gives orphan drug designation to investigational treatments for rare illnesses or those affecting fewer than 200,000 patients in the United States. The designation entitles the drug maker to seven years’ market exclusivity following approval, tax benefits and exemption from certain application filing fees.

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