Sanofi MS drug shows good results in phase-3 trial

BY Alaric DeArment

PARIS — A drug under investigation by Sanofi for multiple sclerosis improved several measures of disease activity in patients, according to results of a late-stage clinical trial.

The French drug maker announced the publication of results from the phase-3 "TEMSO" study of Aubagio (teriflunomide) in the New England Journal of Medicine. Data showed that in the 14-mg dosage, the drug reduced the annual relapse rate, reduced disability progressions and improved several magnetic resonance imaging measures of disease activity, including new or worsening brain lesions. The study involved 1,088 people in 21 countries with relapsing forms of MS and is part of a broader clinical trial program that will include 4,000 patients in 36 countries.

"The TEMSO data demonstrate the effect of teriflunomide in terms of reducing relapse rates, disability progression and magnetic resonance imaging lesions," TEMSO study principal investigator and director of the MS Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto Paul O’Connor said. "These results, sustained over two years, provide clinically meaningful data for teriflunomide."


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Walmart plays up toy list, layaway

BY Gail Hoffer

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — While Toys"R"Us and Kmart were among the first retailers to release their hot toy lists, Walmart wasn’t too far behind this year, offering many of the same toys as the aforementioned companies, and even some exclusives.

"Value is a huge priority for our customers and they rely on Walmart for the right toys at great prices everyday and especially during the holiday season," said Laura Phillips, chief toy officer and SVP toys and seasonal merchandising at Walmart. "We know this economic climate is difficult for our customers and we are committed to helping them have the Christmas they want and deserve."

Walmart’s top 20 toy list includes:

  • Mattel Monster High 3-Pack*

  • Lego Mace Windu Fighter*

  • Hasbro Race Along Chuck

  • Fisher Price Dance ‘n Play Puppy

  • Hasbro Elmo Rocks

  • Fisher Price Dora’s Fiesta Kitchen

  • LeapFrog Leap Pad Explorer

  • MGA Lalaloopsy Silly Hair

  • Mattel Fijit

  • Hasbro Easy Bake Oven

  • Hasbro Cookie Pie FurReal

  • Mattel Barbie Camper

  • Hasbro Beyblades Triple Battle

  • Hasbro Star Wars FX Lightsaber

  • Hasbro Nerf Nitron

  • Fisher Price Imaginext Bat Cave

  • Spinmaster RC Real McQueen

  • Hasbro Transformers Ultimate Optimus

  • Wowee Paper Jams Pro Mic

  • Hasbro Yahtzee Flash Games

*Denotes Walmart exclusive.

In addition to revealing its top toys for holiday 2011, Walmart announced that it will offer layaway for electronics and toys. Available at all stores nationwide beginning Oct. 17 through Dec. 16, the program will be available on eligible toy and electronic gifts with a retail price of $15 or more.


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Fresh & Easy thanks customers with loyalty card

BY Allison Cerra

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Fresh & Easy officially has launched a loyalty card program following a test run at the chain’s seven Bakersfield, Calif., stores.

The new Friends of Fresh & Easy “thank you” card is a digital points-based program where customers can earn one point for every dollar they spend at Fresh & Easy. “Friends” can exchange their points for cash-back rewards and will receive personalized bi-weekly emails with real-time updates on points earned and targeted bonus point coupons, the supermarket chain said.

The card program builds off of the company’s “Friends of Fresh & Easy” initiative, which was launched in December 2008 to provide loyal customers exclusive news and information about the company and its products, as well as special coupons and offers.

“We wanted to create a 21st century program to thank our most loyal customers and friends,” Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason said. “We’re excited to bring the new Friends program to all our stores next week.”


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