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Save Mart president Spengler retires

BY Jim Frederick

MODESTO, Calif. Save Mart Supermarkets president Bob Spengler retired today after coming out of retirement two years ago to help acquire Albertson’s LLC.

“I’m very, very confident with the management team that’s in place now,” said Spengler, 67. “And I feel this is a company on the cusp of being a far greater success than it is now.” Spengler will not be replaced as president. Save Mart chief executive officer Bob Piccinini will continue to head the company.

Spengler initially retired in 2005 but returned to the chain in 2006 to lead the acquisition of 130 Albertson’s stores in Northern California and Nevada following Albertson’s purchase by Supervalu. During that time, Save Mart also resurrected the Lucky Supermarkets name and converted more than 70 Albertson’s stores to the Lucky banner.

Spengler spent 22 years with Save Mart and leaves behind a 248-store chain that operates stores under the Save Mart, Lucky and FoodMaxx banners.

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FDA committee to meet regarding Jerini’s Firazyr

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration’s Pulmonary-Allergy Drugs Advisory Committee will meet Feb. 20 to discuss Jerini’s new drug application for Firazyr, which is used to treat attacks of hereditary angioedema, a genetic disease causing spontaneous and recurring edema attacks in various parts of the body.

If approved, Firazyr would be Jerini’s first product on the market and the first product approved in the U.S. to treat the disease, according to the company.

The company plans to start a Phase II clinical trial of Firazyr to treat drug-induced angioedema in 2008 to expand the drug’s indications.

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CVS announces light December sales, still on course for top end of guidance

BY Antoinette Alexander

WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark announced on Thursday that sales in December were lighter than the company expected due to unfavorable weather, a weak flu season and a wobbly economy.

However, Tom Ryan, chairman, president and chief executive officer, noted that “given favorable operating expenses and improved margins, we expect to report diluted earnings per share on a GAAP basis for the fourth quarter 2007 in the range of 54 cents to 55 cents, and for the full year 2007 in the range of $1.91 to $1.92, at the high end of our previous guidance of $1.89 to $1.92.”

Same-store sales for the five weeks ended Dec. 29 increased 1.8 percent. Pharmacy same-store sales rose 2.4 percent, and were negatively impacted by about 470 basis points due to recent generic introductions. Front-end same-store sales rose 0.6 percent.

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