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Peter Ciano named Tris Pharma’s VP corporate development

BY Allison Cerra

MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J. A specialty pharmaceutical company that develops innovative drug delivery technologies has appointed a new VP corporate development.

Tris Pharma said Peter Ciano, who currently is a business development consultant for the company, now will lead and manage Tris’ lead all commercial efforts including business development, licensing, identifying growth opportunities and deal executions for its brand side of the business.

“As our technology gains wider acceptance for both Rx and OTC branded businesses, we are increasingly faced with the need for intelligent pursuit of the products and opportunities. Peter’s solid analytical approach coupled with his deep understanding of pharmaceutical marketer’s needs and health care provider’s requirement for reimbursement makes him uniquely qualified to guide and lead Tris in this position,” said Ketan Mehta, founder and CEO of Tris Pharma.

Prior to joining Tris, Ciano worked at Kos Pharmaceuticals (prior to its acquisition by Abbott) for nearly six years, including two years as its executive director of corporate development and business planning.

Most recently, Tris had announced FDA had approval two NDAs including first-ever 24-hour ER suspension. Tris has an active portfolio of more than 20 OTC and Rx products based on its proprietary technology.

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Giant Eagle purchases five stores from Tops Markets

BY Allison Cerra

PITTSBURGH Giant Eagle has agreed to purchase five former Penn Traffic stores in the western Pennsylvania market.

The stores, which currently are owned by Tops Markets, will immediately begin its planned store inventory liquidation sales in preparation for their eventual closures. At the time of the stores’ closings, the properties will be turned over to Giant Eagle. Giant Eagle also has agreed to acquire the pharmacy records for the former Penn Traffic pharmacies in the Brookville, DuBois and Johnstown locations, and plans to operate the existing pharmacies at Brookville and DuBois. The pharmacy files from the Johnstown location are being transferred to a nearby Giant Eagle store.

Further details about the transaction and Giant Eagle’s evolving plans will be released as details become available.

“Given our nearly 80-year history as a leading regional food retailer with strong western Pennsylvania roots, we were approached by Tops Markets more than a month ago regarding these locations,” said Giant Eagle special counsel Dan Shapira. “Tops informed us that these stores were outside of their geographic footprint, and as such would ultimately be closed and the employees terminated. We believe there is an opportunity to refurbish these stores and bring to consumers of the area an overall improved shopping experience.

“We are thrilled to be able to not only preserve these grocery shopping options for area residents, but to deliver the type of high quality offerings that our customers have come to expect from us,” Shapira added.

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Meijer adds 2,000 items to NuVal scoring system

BY Allison Cerra

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Meijer is adding 2,000 new items to an independent nutritional scoring system that was implemented in its stores last year.

NuVal, designed to take the guesswork out of determining the nutritional value of a product, now will feature 19 new grocery categories, including frozen snacks, mustards, baked goods, soups, pancake mixes, tomato pastes and creamers. In total, Meijer will now have more than 15,000 private label and national brands assigned a NuVal nutritional score on its store shelves.

“This independent nutritional scoring system has become an incredibly important tool for our shoppers over the past 10 months,” said Ralph Fischer, group VP grocery at Meijer. “It’s been a resounding success, and our customers wanted more products brought into the NuVal system. We’re only too happy to help them in their effort to make well-informed nutritional choices on a product-by-product basis.”

Those products analyzed by NuVal will sport small tags that reveal their scientifically calculated nutritional value score, ranging from 1-100, with 100 being the most nutritious. The NuVal system was developed by a team of renowned nutritional experts from leading universities and health organizations, and is currently in use by a handful of major grocery chains across the country.

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