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Wegmans CEO to be awarded George Eastman Medal by university

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCHESTER, N.Y. The College of the University of Rochester on Thursday announced it will be awarding its George Eastman Medal, which recognizes outstanding achievement and dedicated service, to Danny Wegman — CEO of the namesake supermarket chain — following his commencement address May 16 before the 160th graduating class of the institution.

“Danny Wegman’s distinguished business career is intertwined with his stellar commitment to our community, especially to educational opportunity for Wegmans’ employees and for students in the Rochester city schools,” stated University president Joel Seligman. “He is a civic leader who is shaping future generations. Wegmans’ reputation for exceptional quality and performance is richly deserved, and the community deeply appreciates Danny’s dedication to its welfare.”

In 1987, Wegmans conceived and created Rochester’s Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection to help address the drop-out rate in the Rochester City School District. It was eventually transferred to the Hillside Family of Agencies, and Danny Wegman was named the program’s first board chair. Participating students are provided a part-time job, a youth advocate and a workplace mentor at Wegmans or another organization. The combination of work and support continues to motivate the current group of 2,300 middle- and high-school students in the program.

The George Eastman Medal was created in honor of Eastman, one of the University’s benefactors and founder of Eastman Kodak Co.

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Lilly’s Gemzar patent upheld

BY Alaric DeArment

INDIANAPOLIS A court has upheld Eli Lilly’s patent on an injected drug for treating cancer, the drug maker announced Thursday.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana upheld the validity of Lilly’s compound patent on Gemzar (gemcitabine hydrochloride), maintaining the company’s U.S. exclusivity for the drug through Nov. 15, blocking Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ attempt to market a generic version.

A second patent for the drug, which would have expired in 2013 and covered the drug’s Food and Drug Administration-approved uses, was ruled invalid by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in a separate case. Because Lilly has appealed the Michigan court’s decision, the Indiana court ruled that Lilly could not enforce the 2013 patent in the Indiana case.

“We are pleased with the court’s ruling upholding the validity of Gemzar’s compound patent and remain optimistic that a successful appeal of the Michigan decision on the Gemzar method-of-use patent will retain U.S. exclusivity for Gemzar into 2013,” Lilly SVP and general counsel Robert Armitage said. “Protection of intellectual property rights is extremely important to the biopharmaceutical industry and the physicians and patients we serve, as these rights help support the development of the next generation of innovative medicines to treat unmet medical needs.”

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Walgreens specialty pharmacy to share its space in San Francisco

BY Alaric DeArment

SAN FRANCISCO Walgreens plans to share some of the space for its specialty pharmacy in San Francisco’s Castro district with a local museum, according to published reports.

The Bay Area Reporter, a gay and lesbian newspaper, reported Thursday that Walgreens would expand its specialty pharmacy into one-third of a former laundromat next door while leasing the other two-thirds to the GLBT Historical Society for five years at a reduced rent rate. The museum plans to open in June.

According to the article, Walgreens will pay for the remodeling of the space and seek city permits while using its third of the space for infusion therapy. The pharmacy originally had planned to take over the entire space, but the city government declined to give it a permit, and local business had complained that it would give the pharmacy too large a footprint in the neighborhood.

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