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Upsher-Smith to acquire biotechnology firm Proximagen Group

BY Michael Johnsen

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — Upsher-Smith Labs on Wednesday announced that it has agreed to acquire Proximagen Group, a European biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for diseases of the central nervous system and inflammation.

Upsher-Smith intends to retain operations in Cambridge and London, England, the company reported.

“Having worked closely with Proximagen as both a commercial partner and a strategic shareholder since 2008, we believe that Proximagen has significant potential and we are excited about the opportunity of bringing new therapies to market that will benefit patients," stated Mark Evenstad, president and CEO Upsher-Smith.

The acquisition provides Upsher-Smith with expanded research and development capabilities and a platform for future growth in product development. Proximagen’s pipeline contains a number of programs in various stages of development across a number of therapeutic classes including central nervous system, inflammation, oncology and ophthalmology, Upsher-Smith reported.

The transaction is subject to approval by Proximagen shareholders and other terms and conditions set out in the joint offer announcement released by Upsher-Smith and Proximagen.

The transaction is also subject to the approval of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales.

In addition to the unanimous recommendation from the Board of Proximagen, Upsher-Smith has obtained irrevocable undertakings from Proximagen shareholders to accept the deal in respect of 72.01% of the share capital, including from Proximagen’s largest shareholder, Invesco Asset Management Limited.
 

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Saban Brands revives ’80s franchise

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — Saban Brands has announced the return of the Popples franchise.

The company said it will reintroduce the brand — which was popular in the 1980s — with the introduction of such merchandise as accessories, plush toys and more by fall 2013. By spring 2014, Saban Brands plans to introduce new Popples characters and expand merchandise to include publishing, stationery, party goods, crafting and more.

"We’re thrilled to introduce the Popples franchise to a new generation while reacquainting it with those who grew up with, and adored, Popples in the ’80s," Saban Brands president Elie Dekel said. "With products, and eventually new characters, fans will find the adorable Popples more irresistible than ever."

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Duchy Originals From Waitrose cookies make U.S. debut

BY Allison Cerra

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. — A cookie brand founded by the Prince of Wales is coming to the United States.

Duchy Originals from Waitrose cookies — from the brand founded by HRH Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales — initially will be available through WalkersUS.com and at retail. The lineup includes original oaten biscuits, Highland all butter shortbread, stem ginger all butter shortbread and lemon all butter shortbread. The line traditionally is baked by Walkers Shortbread in the Scottish Highlands.

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