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Genzyme drug for Gaucher disease reduces enlarged spleen size in trial

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — An experimental drug for treating a rare genetic disease appears effective, according to a late-stage clinical trial.

Sanofi subsidiary Genzyme said Tuesday that the drug eliglustat tartrate was effective in improving spleen size in previously untreated patients with Type 1 Gaucher disease in the phase-3 "Engage" trial. Gaucher disease is an enzyme deficiency disorder that affects fewer than 10,000 people worldwide and causes fat cells to collect around the spleen, liver and bone marrow. Patients with the disease may experience enlargement of the spleen and liver, anemia, excessive bleeding and bruising, bone disease and other symptoms.

"The efficacy and safety data from our Engage trial are consistent with what were observed in our phase-2 study, continuing to suggest that eliglustat tartrate is a potent, well-tolerated oral compound that may become a meaningful option for patients and physicians," Genzyme president and CEO David Meeker said. "The development of eliglustat tartrate has been underway for more than a decade and is the largest clinical program ever focused on Gaucher disease, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to innovation on behalf of this community."

The company has enrolled more than 370 patients for various studies of the drug. Top-line data from the second phase-3 trial, "Encore," are expected early next year.


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Yankee Candle unveils holiday lineup

BY Allison Cerra

SOUTH DEERFIELD, Mass. — Yankee Candle has announced the launch of three new fragrances for the holidays.

New Peppermint bark, pine cone and lime, and Red Velvet scents are inspired by nostalgic family recipes, the company said.

"Our new holiday fragrances evoke fond childhood memories of baking during the holiday time and celebrating the season with family and friends," Yankee Candle EVP brand, design and innovation Hope Margala Klein said. "These new fragrances will add to the comfort and warmth of our customers homes and also make the perfect gift for everyone on their list."

The new holiday fragrances now are available for purchase for a suggested retail price range of $1.99 to $27.99, depending on size.

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Safeway underscores corporate social responsibility with Heart of Safeway Pledge

BY Allison Cerra

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway has launched a personal call to action that directly involves and rewards employees and shoppers.

The "Heart of Safeway Pledge" extends the retailer’s corporate social responsibility commitment and invites employees and shoppers to take simple, everyday steps — such as using energy-conserving light bulbs, taking a 15-minute walk three times a week or eating healthier foods — to benefit people and their communities.

Those interested in taking a pledge can do so by logging on to Safeway.com/csr. All participants who make their "Heart of Safeway Pledge" through Oct. 31 also will be entered for a chance to win 1-of-50 $100 Safeway gift cards. Additionally, the first 25,000 participants to make a personal pledge will be rewarded with a CSR-themed store coupon for $1 off fresh produce. For each pledge, The Safeway Foundation will donate $1 to benefit Feeding America and Food Banks Canada, contributing up to $25,000 to hunger relief.

"Imagine if every employee and shopper took the pledge – the net effect would be far greater than anything we could accomplish on our own," said Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of The Safeway Foundation. "As a neighborhood store, we’re already a part of people’s daily lives, and our CSR commitments are truly the ‘Heart of Safeway.’ We see the pledge and coupon as our opportunity to inspire people to take actions and make purchases that directly benefit them and add up to a greater good."

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