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New FDA-approved test first to detect HIV antigen, antibodies

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new test for detecting HIV antigen and antibodies, the agency said.

The FDA said Abbott’s Architect HIV Ag/Ab Combo assay was the first to detect both antigen and antibodies of HIV and is approved to aid in diagnosis of adults, including pregnant women, with the HIV-1 or HIV-2 strains.

Because it detects the HIV-1 virus in addition to HIV antibodies, it can be used to diagnose HIV infection before antibodies emerge.

“The approval of this assay represents an advancement in our ability to better diagnose HIV infection in diagnostic settings where nucleic acid testing to detect the virus itself is not routinely used,” FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research acting director Karen Midthun said. “It provides for more sensitive detection of recent HIV infections compared with antibody tests alone.”

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Cellfire adds Giant Eagle to e-coupon solutions network

BY Allison Cerra

SAN JOSE, Calif. A provider of electronic and mobile coupon solutions has added a grocery chain to its list of clients.

Cellfire said Monday that it expanded its nationwide electronic grocery coupon program with the addition of Giant Eagle, a Cleveland-based supermarket chain with more than 200 locations throughout Ohio, western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and western Maryland. Cellfire coupons are available and redeemable at more than 200 locations that include Giant Eagle, Giant Eagle Market District, Giant Eagle Express and GetGo from Giant Eagle.

To start saving, shoppers simply can sign up on Cellfire.com via cell phone or computer and register their Giant Eagle Advantage Card for the free discount service. They also may register their card and browse ‘eOffers’ at the “Save” section on GiantEagle.com. Discounts are taken at checkout with a swipe of the card and the savings are displayed on the customer’s receipt. Once the coupon is used or expired, it automatically is deleted from the Cellfire account and the Advantage Card.

“The addition of Giant Eagle allows Cellfire to offer grocery coupons and discounts to consumers at even more locations nationwide,” said Robert Drescher, CEO of Cellfire. “We’ve hit a major milestone as Cellfire now has the most expansive grocery network for electronic couponing in the United States. Giant Eagle’s participation clearly demonstrates the momentum from grocers to deliver value and engage consumers through digital offers.”

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Ferring launches Lysteda

BY Alaric DeArment

PARSIPPANY, N.J. Drug maker Ferring Pharmaceuticals has launched a new treatment for women with cyclic heavy menstrual bleeding, Ferring said Monday.

Ferring announced the availability of Lysteda (tranexamic acid) tablets, which it bills as the only non-hormonal and non-surgical therapy for women with cyclic heavy menstrual bleeding. As many as 22 million women in the United States experience HMB.

“Heavy menstrual bleeding is a common condition that can significantly interfere with a woman’s daily activities,” Ferring VP medical affairs Edward Trott said. “Many women consider the condition normal and are unaware that there are treatments available, so they don’t ask their doctor about it.”

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