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GSK, Pfizer launch drug discovery co. targeting HIV/AIDS treatments

BY Alaric DeArment

LONDON Two of the world’s largest drug companies have launched a company to discover and develop therapies to treat HIV and AIDS.

GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer announced Tuesday the launch of ViiV Healthcare, promising “relentless pursuit” of new treatments for the disease, which infects about 1.1 million people in the United States.

The two announced plans to start the company in April and completed the transaction on Friday, with GSK owning an 85% stake and Pfizer owning 15%.

“Rising infection rates and increasingly complex treatment issues have created a challenging landscape in the treatment of HIV and the need to find innovative research and better patient resources,” ViiV CEO Dominique Limet said in a statement.

The company has 10 medicines available – including GSK’s Epzicom (abacavir sulfate and lamivudine) and Pfizer’s Selzentry (maraviroc) – with combined global sales last year of $2.6 billion.

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Kodak, YouTube seeks the ultimate family portrait

BY Allison Cerra

ROCHESTER, N.Y. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Kodak is asking consumers to share what family means to them by showing their true colors in a new YouTube contest called “True Colors: Video Portrait Challenge.”

“Kodak is asking families to show off their true colors for the entire world to see,” said Leslie Dance, VP brand marketing and communications at Kodak. “Of course, the word ‘family’ means different things to different people, from our kids or crazy in-laws to co-workers or best friends. Kodak wants to help people celebrate and share their unique family moments, whoever that family may be.”

How families can enter:

  • Record a 10-second video family portrait
  • Title the video “My (Insert Family Name) Family Portrait”
  • Go to www.YouTube.com/KodakTube, click on the “submit” tab in the contest area and upload the video
  • Families can enter as many times as they would like before Nov. 15

The top 25 finalists will be announced on Nov. 24, people can vote for their favorite Family Portrait from Nov. 24 to Dec. 2, and winners will be announced Dec. 7.

The grand prize includes:

  • Two tickets to a taping of NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien”
  • Kodak Zi8 Pocket Video Camera
  • Kodak EasyShare S730 Digital Frame
  • Video will be shown on YouTube home page, Kodak’s YouTube channel and Kodak’s Times Square Billboard

For more information about the contest and to view submissions, please visit the Kodak YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/KodakTube.

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Duane Reade’s new look, initiatives come together at its Herald Square store

BY DSN STAFF

NEW YORK Improved sight lines, updated and provocative signage, space for a retail clinic operation — all are elements incorporated into the modern drug store prototype, Duane Reade or otherwise. And all hold significance with today’s over-the-counter supplier.

 

But Duane Reade’s InVite venture will really set the New York pharmacy apart from its competition for a few reasons. First, not too long after Elephant Pharmacy founder Stuart Skorman established the pharmacy amalgamation of Eastern medicine and Western medicine in Berkeley, Calif., he identified New York City as ideal expansion ground for his concept. The reasoning was simple — where else in the world do you have such a diverse consumer base in search of natural medicines, homeopathic remedies and modern, allopathic drugs all within the same region? Offering an on-site naturopathic physician, even in just a few of its well-trafficked stores, will help establish Duane Reade as the go-to pharmacy within New York City for all issues related to health.

 

 

Second, it has the potential of attracting that core, dedicated dietary supplement shopper out of the GNC centers that they’re currently patronizing and into the Duane Reade drug store, where they can get so much more than just their monthly supplements. It also ups the stakes within supplements somewhat — GNCs, and other such vitamin specialty retailers as Vitamin Shoppe and Vitamin World — are staffed by knowledgeable clerks to be sure, but not naturopathic physicians necessarily. The new prototype and InVite venture is also taking place at a time when GNC has recently announced the remodel of its store prototype to be more appealing to the more general supplement consumer. In that respect, the InVite venture will also serve as a defensive measure to keep Duane Reade supplement customers from crossing over to GNC.

 

Finally, establishing Duane Reade as the go-to retailer for supplements meshes with current demographic trends — notably that aging and educated baby boomer consumer who is actively seeking lifestyle strategies to improve their overall health. And having an educated practitioner making supplement suggestions will not only appeal to a burgeoning consumer base, but coupled with the pharmacist and retail clinician, it will also help to establish credibility for Duane Reade as the go-to source for all health issues.

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