PHARMACY

Winn-Dixie donates more than $1 million to nonprofits for holiday season

BY Drew Buono

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Winn-Dixie has donated $1,050,000 to 39 nonprofit community organizations throughout the Southeast in the past week.

The $25,000 donations were made at events during a five-stop “Better Holidays…Better Communities” tour of the Jacksonville-based grocer’s operating area. In addition to the cash donations, Winn-Dixie Stores donated $75,000 worth of food filling several truckloads to regional food banks in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Jacksonville.

“For more than 80 years, Winn-Dixie has been known as the company with a heart,” said Peter Lynch, Winn-Dixie’s president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board. “During the past week, we continued that tradition by donating funds from our Foundation to worthy organizations that share our goal of improving the lives of families in the neighborhoods we serve.”

Some of the organizations that received the donations were: the Toys for Tots organization in Jacksonville; the United Negro College Fund in Orlando, Miami, New Orleans, and Jacksonville; and the Boy Scouts of America in Orlando.

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FDA approves Teva’s generic Trileptal

BY Drew Buono

The Food and Drug Administration has granted final approval to Teva for its application to market a generic version of Trileptal, by Novartis, for the treatment of epilepsy.

The generic, oxcarbazepine, will be available in 150, 300 and 600 mg tablets. Teva will begin shipping the drug in the near future.

Teva is currently involved in patent litigation concerning this product in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. A trial date has not been set.

The brand product had annual sales of approximately $690 million in the United States for the twelve months ended Sept. 30, 2007, based on IMS sales data.

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Biogen’s lack of buyer interest triggers stock price dive

BY Drew Buono

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Biogen has reported that after two months of looking for a potential buyer, it has turned up no serious offers, which led to a 27 percent drop in the company’s shares, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Biogen said in a statement that it “did not receive any definitive offers to purchase the company” and would abandon exploration of a sale. Within a few minutes of the announcement, Biogen lost nine months of increasing business by buyout rumors.

Pharmaceutical firms may have been discouraged by Biogen’s high price—its market value had grown to $25 billion after the company announced its intention to sell. Last month, Sanofi-Aventis’ chief executive called Biogen’s price “a little high.”

Biogen has three main drugs on the market—Avonex and Tysabri for multiple sclerosis and Rituxan for cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Some analysts said uncertainties about the future of the drugs were too great for buyers. Tysabri has been linked to a rare brain disorder, prompting close regulatory scrutiny.

The stock price fell from $75.88 to $55.50 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

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