HEALTH

Sanofi makes tender offer to Chattem

BY Michael Johnsen

PARIS Sanofi-Aventis on Monday announced the commencement of a tender offer through its wholly-owned subsidiary, River Acquisition, for all outstanding shares of common stock of Chattem for $93.50 per share, net to the seller in cash, without interest and less any required withholding taxes.

Sanofi-aventis first expressed interest in Chattem Dec. 20.

The tender offer is scheduled to expire at midnight, EST, on Feb. 8.

“The transaction is a significant milestone in sanofi-aventis’ transformational strategy,” the French pharmaceutical company stated in a press release. “By strengthening its presence in the U.S. consumer healthcare market, which represents 25% of the current worldwide opportunity, sanofi-aventis is further securing its position as a global, integrated healthcare company and building a significant platform for future growth.”

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Kaz-sponsored report finds humidifiers may reduce flu virus

BY Michael Johnsen

NEEDHAM, Mass. A scientific white paper released last month suggests humidifiers may play an important role in reducing the survival of the flu virus on both surfaces and in the air.

The research suggests that homes kept at 40% to 60% percent relative humidity are likely to have fewer flu viruses.

“After evaluating a number of published peer reviewed studies conducted over the last 70 years, we’ve learned that monitoring and maintaining proper humidity levels in your home to may reduce survival of the flu virus in the air and on surfaces,” stated Jim McDevitt, co-author of the report, and instructor at the Harvard School of Public Health.  “While the typical flu virus can survive on surfaces and in the air for up to 24 hours, the survival time in a more humid environment is markedly lower.”

The report, sponsored by Kaz, manufacturer of Vicks brand humidifiers, comes from an independent team of scientists and researchers. The studies examined in the white paper focused primarily on the survival of the influenza A(H1N1) virus on surfaces and in the air. The novel strain of H1N1 that has emerged this year, also known as the 2009 H1N1, was not included in any of these studies, Kaz noted.

Click here for the full report.

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CDC reports widespread flu activity in one state

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA For the week ended Jan. 2, there is now only one state reporting widespread activity of influenza-like illnesses — Alabama — though that state was not 1-of-the-4 states (Delaware, Maine, New Jersey and Virginia) reporting widespread activity in the week prior.

And Nebraska reported no ILI activity for the week.

Nationwide, 2.4% of patient visits reported through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network were due to ILI. This percentage is above the national baseline of 2.3%.

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