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Meijer kicks off fifth ‘Simply Give’ campaign

BY Allison Cerra

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. For the fifth time in less than 18 months, Meijer is teaming up with its shoppers to help restock the shelves of approximately 191 local food banks as part of the grocer’s “Simply Give” food pantry donation program.

The two-month program, Meijer’s fifth since starting the donation effort in November 2008, seeks to lend a hand to the increasing number of food pantries that struggle to keep up with the growing demand for their services. The previous four “Simply Give” initiatives have raised more than $1 million in food donations that have gone directly to local food banks and pantries. Each one of Meijer’s 191 stores throughout the Midwest has identified a local organization to receive the grocery donation.

The latest “Simply Give” program will run from now through May 15. Two other “Simply Give” food drives are scheduled for the late summer and early fall of this year.

As in previous efforts, the program encourages Meijer shoppers to purchase a $10 Meijer Food Pantry Donation Card at special displays throughout the store. The donation cards are then converted into Meijer Gift cards and given to the local food pantry selected by the store.

As it has done in the past, Meijer is seeding the “Simply Give” program with $100,000 in grocery gift cards that will be divided equally among all the participating food pantries.

“This program is a testament to the compassion our shoppers have toward their neighbors,” said Hank Meijer, co-chairman and CEO. “We’re proud to team up with thousands of our customers to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate and make a difference in the hundreds of communities where we do business.”

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FDA to have Genzyme plant inspected, reviewed

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Genzyme Corp. will have to submit to inspections of one of its plants by the Food and Drug Administration and pay fees to the agency under a consent decree, the biotechnology company said Wednesday.

The FDA will likely hire a third party to inspect and review Genzyme’s plant in the Boston neighborhood of Allston for an extended period of time to ensure its compliance with accepted manufacturing standards. Genzyme will also have to pay the FDA for the inspections, and may have to pay other fees as well.

The action comes as a result of an incident in June 2009, when the company detected a virus that inhibits cell growth in one of the containers it uses to manufacture drugs; the virus, vesivirus 2117, is not known to cause human infection. The company said the virus was the cause of declines in productivity at two of its plants, including Allston, in 2008, and was likely introduced via a nutrient used in the manufacturing process.

In November 2009, the company found particulate matter in supplies of drugs from the Allston plant, particularly the Gaucher disease drug Cerezyme (imiglucerase), the Fabry disease drug Fabrazyme (agalsidase beta), the Pompe disease drug Myozyme (alglucosidase alfa), the mucopolysaccharidosis treatment Aldurazyme (laronidase) and the thyroid disease drug Thyrogen (thyrotropin alfa).

The drug maker said it expected shipments of the Cerezyme, Fabrazyme and Myozyme, which are manufactured at the Allston plant, to continue uninterrupted.

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SVP product development and clinical operations

BY Alaric DeArment

HAYWARD, Calif. A company that develops drugs for inflammatory diseases has made a new executive appointment.

Anthera Pharmaceuticals announced that it hired Georgina Kilfoil for the newly-created position of SVP product development and clinical operations. Prior to working for Anthera, Kilfoil was a consultant at InClin and VP alliances and project management at Peninsula Pharmaceuticals.

“Georgina brings over 18 years of project management and clinical research expertise, making her a valuable and welcome addition to our senior management team,” Anthera president and CEO Paul Truex said in a statement.

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