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Gilead enters partnership with Tibotec to develop HIV drug

BY Allison Cerra

FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences said it entered a partnership with Tibotec Pharmaceuticals to develop a single daily antiretroviral HIV pill.

The proposed drug would combine Gilead’s Truvada with a drug Tibotec is developing called TMC278, or rilpivirine. Terms were not disclosed, but Gilead said it would take the lead in manufacturing and testing the combined drug, working to get it approved by regulators, and selling it.

Gilead said the product would be the second complete antiretroviral treatment for HIV available in one pill. The first is Gilead’s Atripla, which combines three HIV drugs. The company said the combined pills make treatment simpler for patients.

Tibotec, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, would be responsible for developing rilpivirine as a standalone drug.

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Bashas’ files for bankruptcy protection

BY Alaric DeArment

CHANDLER, Ariz. The 15th largest privately owned supermarket chain in the country has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11.

Bashas’ voluntarily filed for reorganization based on the national credit crisis, stagnation in the Arizona economy and what it called the “repeated, ongoing attacks from the international and local grocery worker’s union.”

“We made this bold move to help preserve the business and the jobs of our more than 10,000 employees,” Bashas’ president and CEO Mike Proulx said in a statement. “We did this to improve the health of the company as we navigate through difficult economic times.”

The company said it has financial backing and has obtained a debtor in possession loan commitment for $45 million to continue operations.

“We are confident that our family of stores is here to stay,” SVP and Basha family spokesman Edward Basha said. “We’re not winding down operations, and it is not our intention to sell to another entity.”

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Luvs baby diapers and Marissa Winokur ‘Take a Stand’ against overpriced everyday items

BY Anna Mcgrath

CINCINNATI Marissa Jaret Winokur, Tony-Award winning actress, is taking a stand alongside Luvs baby diapers as the chosen spokesperson for its “Take A Stand” initiative to rally moms against such overpriced everyday items as diapers.

The well-known name in baby care is teaming up with Winokur to headline the “Take a Stand” media tour this fall, and help build awareness for the movement through social networking Web sites and blogs.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Marissa to the Luvs family,” said Dominic Iacono, Luvs brand manager. “With her unapologetically fun, down-to-earth personality and independent spirit, Marissa truly embodies all the attributes of the Luvs mom – someone who our consumer can really relate to.”

Luvs baby diapers deliver ultra leakage protection and a money-back guarantee for less cost than the pricey brands. The company’s “Take a Stand” campaign is scheduled to commence this September.

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