HEALTH

Novartis completes purchase of Alcon stock

BY Michael Johnsen

BASEL, Switzerland Novartis on Thursday announced that it has completed its purchase of Alcon stock from Nestle, resulting in 77% ownership of Alcon. This has been achieved by completing the acquisition of the remaining 52% of Alcon shares owned by Nestle for a total of $28.3 billion.

Alcon strategically complements Novartis’ business portfolio, the Swiss company stated, adding a platform in eye care to its pharmaceutical, generics, vaccines and diagnostics, and consumer health divisions. Alcon realized 2009 annual sales of $6.5 billion, operating income of $2.3 billion and net income of $2 billion.

The eye care sector offers further growth opportunities underpinned by the increasing unmet needs of emerging markets and an aging population. The Alcon and Novartis eye care portfolios address a broad range of these unmet needs, Novartis noted. The companies have complementary pharmaceutical portfolios for diseases in the front and back areas of the eye, as well as strong global brands in lens care.

“We are delighted to become majority owners of Alcon,” stated Joseph Jimenez, Novartis CEO. “Together, both companies can achieve their strategic priorities to deliver against patient needs through innovative and differentiated products.”

With the achievement of the 77% majority ownership, Novartis and Alcon will be able to pursue opportunities with Lucentis, the company noted, utilizing the companies’ complementary field forces around the potential launch of Lucentis for Diabetic Macular Edema. Other opportunities include optimization of lens care manufacturing and research collaborations.

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LiceGuard makes appearance in ‘The Switch’

BY Michael Johnsen

NEEDHAM, Mass. ARR Health Technologies scored a product placement for its LiceGuard products in the movie “The Switch,” starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, which debuted Friday.

“The Switch” grossed $8.1 million at the box office over the weekend.

In the movie, Jason Bateman’s character is shown choosing LiceGuard SAFE lice egg remover shampoo to treat his child. There are several scenes where the product’s distinctive yellow cap can be seen, the company stated in a press released issued Tuesday.

“We are very pleased that the RobiComb and our SAFE lice remover shampoo were used in the movie ‘The Switch,'” stated Mark Stearns, VP business development for ARR Health Technologies. “It was important to the actors to show parents using a nontoxic lice treatment, and we are glad that LiceGuard was chosen from all the available options.”

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Hyland’s introduces two homeopathic kids’ remedies for cough-cold/allergy season

BY Melissa Valliant

WESTLAKE, Ohio Joining parents this fall in the fight against kids’ cough-cold and allergy symptoms are two new products from homeopathic-medicine provider Hyland’s: Nighttime Cold ’n Cough 4 Kids and Complete Allergy 4 Kids.

WESTLAKE, Ohio Joining parents this fall in the fight against kids’ cough-cold and allergy symptoms are two new products from homeopathic-medicine provider Hyland’s: Nighttime Cold ’n Cough 4 Kids and Complete Allergy 4 Kids.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold. An extension of Hyland’s popular Cold ’n Cough 4 Kids, Hyland’s Nighttime Cold ’n Cough 4 Kids helps keep kids in the classroom by mitigating cough and chest congestion symptoms, while also aiding sleep without leaving the child groggy in the morning.

Hay fever affects close to 40% of U.S. children, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and Hyland’s Complete Allergy 4 Kids is an all-natural, sugar-free way to treat symptoms. The new all-in-one, non-drowsy liquid formula treats both the common symptoms of indoor and outdoor allergies, such as itchy, watery eyes and runny noses, and such less common, more severe symptoms as repeated sneezing, ear fullness and burning eyes.

“The ingredients are all-natural and homeopathic so they have low likelihoods of adverse side effects or interactions with other medications,” said J.P. Borneman, chairman and CEO of Hyland’s. “With the relief of cold and allergy symptoms on hand, your kids can continue to enjoy the seasons.”

Both products will be available nationwide this fall in natural health food stores, select drug stores and select online retailers.

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