HHS, Novartis celebrate opening of state-of-the-art, stateside vaccine facility
WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services on Monday announced that the first U.S. facility to use a faster and more flexible technology to make influenza vaccine was dedicated as part of an initiative that could provide vaccine supplies sooner in an influenza pandemic.
The plant in Holly Springs, N.C., can create vaccine using cultured animal cells instead of the conventional process of using fertilized eggs. The facility is a public-private partnership of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. This partnership will be maintained under contract for at least 25 years, HHS announced.
“Today we’re marking the first change in influenza vaccine manufacturing in the United States in 50 years,” stated Robin Robinson, director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. “The pandemic readiness of this facility is a major milestone in national preparedness for pandemic influenza and other diseases.”
In an influenza pandemic, the new Novartis facility may be able to produce 25% of the vaccine needed in the United States. In addition, cell-based technology used in this facility for manufacturing seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines may be adapted to produce vaccines for other known and unknown emerging infectious diseases in an emergency.
PureBrands, LeBron James roll out new Facebook campaign for Sheets Energy Strips
NEW YORK — PureBrands on Tuesday announced its national Facebook competition to search for the brand’s next commercial for its Sheets Energy Strips, to be judged by brand partner LeBron James of the NBA.
Beginning Dec. 13, entrants will have 45 days to submit their creative take on Sheets’ advertising campaign through the Sheets Facebook page, and the winning commercial will have their spot aired on national television and in movie theaters nationwide in 2012.
The top six commercials as determined by the most number of "likes" after 45 days will be featured on the Sheets Facebook page in the "Finals." Then, LeBron James and a panel of judges will vote on the winning commercial.
Utilizing social media to engage consumers is a pinnacle of the early success of Sheets, the company stated. The brand launched with a viral video featuring Danilo Gallinari, which attracted more than 300,000 views and has developed several successful Twitter and Facebook campaigns, including a mobile Twitter initiative with international recording artist Pitbull’s national tour.
"At Sheets we continue to look for ways to innovate, and we’re excited to engage our consumers in a unique fashion to get them involved in the evolution of our advertising campaign," stated Warren Struhl, CEO of PureBrands. "We look forward to seeing the originality of our consumers and thus being able to provide them with a national platform to showcase their talents."
Medical Alarm Concepts announces prescription bag-stuffer for Albertsons LLC
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. — Medical Alarm Concepts Holding on Monday unveiled plans for the second phase of its MediPendant medical alert system marketing campaign: a bag stuffer/coupon offer placed alongside patient prescriptions in Albertsons that includes one free month of monitoring services and a lockbox device that allows for first responders to get into a home without having to break down the door.
"We believe in this partnership, and are confident that it will continue to grow and open doors for additional distribution agreements with leading retail chains," stated Medical Alarm Concepts CEO Howard Teicher. "The MediPendant technology with two-way voice directly through the pendant and a range of 600 feet continues to gain interest and market share. We are excited about the potential of the MediPendant retail program."