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Asterand to Enter Into Exclusive License Agreement with Allergan for Pre-Clinical Compounds Focused on Diseases of the Eye PDF
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Companies
Tuesday, 09 September 2008
Asterand plc (LSE: ATD), a leading global provider of human tissue and services to pharmaceutical companies engaged in drug discovery research, announces that it has entered into an exclusive licence agreement with Allergan, Inc., a global, multi-speciality healthcare company, whereby Allergan obtains the rights to further develop and commercialise a series of compounds discovered and developed by Asterand to treat conditions and diseases of the eye, such as glaucoma.

The compounds arise from Asterand's R99 development programme. They are selective, small molecule prostaglandin receptor agonists that have been shown in preclinical studies to be effective in reducing intra-ocular pressure. Allergan plans to further develop a focused list of Lead Compounds and progress these through Clinical Development.

Allergan will pay Asterand an upfront Technology Access Fee of $6.25 million. In addition, Asterand can receive success-based development and sales milestone payments that could total up to $56.0 million, plus royalties.

Martyn Coombs, Chief Executive Officer of Asterand plc said: "Asterand is delighted to have reached this agreement with Allergan. Clearly this is a very significant financial deal for Asterand. We are happy that Allergan has decided to carry our prostaglandin program forward after evaluating it under an exclusive material transfer agreement. Allergan has the expertise, reputation and resources to potentially turn these compounds into effective treatments for diseases of the eye, especially glaucoma.

"Asterand has several other promising drug discovery programmes, including further prostaglandin agonists for immuno-inflammatory diseases (COPD and psoriasis) and pre-term labour, and other interesting compounds targeted for the treatment of bone disease, cancer, and IBS. Asterand will now put increased effort into realising the value of these programmes, including seeking out-licensing opportunities with other pharmaceutical companies. Licensing these programmes allows for their continued development while we focus on our core business, further advancing drug discovery by being the pre-eminent supplier of human tissue and human tissue based services."
 
Eye Cancer Spotted in a Baby Photo PDF
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Feature Story
Tuesday, 09 September 2008
A woman in the UK may have saved a baby's life, after noticing a white spot on the baby's eye in a photograph (see picture) posted on an internet website. Madeleine Robb is being called a hero for alerting the baby's mother of a possible problem. Doctors have indeed confirmed that the one-year-old child has a potentially deadly form of childhood cancer called retinoblastoma.

Retinoblastoma is a cancer of the retina, affecting one or both eyes. If not caught in time, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body. The disease can affect children up to age 5, but often starts in the womb.
 
Bushnell and Carl Zeiss Enter Into An Agreement On Hydrophobic Coatings PDF
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Companies
Monday, 08 September 2008
Bushnell Outdoor Products, Inc., a worldwide leader in sports optics and outdoor accessories, recently announced that it has granted Carl Zeiss a non-exclusive license for U.S. Patent numbers 6,906,862, 6,816,310 and 6,542,302, known under the name “RainGuard”. Carl Zeiss, a global leader in the optical industry, has also independently developed profound know-how and innovation strength in regard to the technology and physics of hydrophobic coatings.

RainGuard is permanent, hydrophobic (water-repellant) lens coating that prevents fogging by causing condensation from rain, sleet, snow or even your breath to bead up into much smaller droplets than on standard coatings. Smaller droplets scatter less light which results in a clearer, brighter view. The coating is available on Bushnell binoculars, riflescopes, spotting scopes and other premium optics.

“We are very satisfied about this agreement with Bushnell, an American market leader in its field of business; this cooperation will prove beneficial to the respective customers of both companies,” said Dr. Manfred Klingel, President of Carl Zeiss Sports Optics.

Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
 
Merringtons ordered to pay damages to customers PDF
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Australian News
Monday, 08 September 2008
Justice Hartley Hansen has found that Merringtons breached the Fair Trading Act by supplying unsuitable spectacles and refusing to give refunds, in Supreme Court action taken by Consumer Affairs Victoria. Merringtons, a national chain which has 22 stores in Victoria, told the court it had since upgraded training for its optical mechanics and dispensers.

In a damning judgement Justice Hansen ordered injunctions restraining Merringtons from similar conduct in the future, saying he had "real cause for concern as to observance of the (law) when the dust of this case has settled down".Justice Hansen said Merringtons had behaved arrogantly towards disgruntled customers, and refused to enter into an enforecable undertaking with Consumer Affairs Victoria prior to trial.

Although Merringtons had changed its policies on taking deposits and providing refunds, he said the injunctions would have "a significant deterrent effect" on the company against any future breaches which would be in contempt of court. Justice Hansen said notices about the earlier court ruling posted in Merringtons stores were inadequate, and reworded "to reflect the gist of the findings and achieve the plaintiff's public interest objections".

He had little sympathy for Merringtons' arguments that publicity about the case had negatively impacted its business, stating the defendants were "the authors of their own misfortune". "They engaged in the offending conduct and then thumbed their noses at the attempts of the plaintiff to resolve the problems without resort to litigation," he said.

Justice Hansen ordered that Merringtons take out a newspaper advertisement, and display notices in its stores, containing information about the court findings to the satisfaction of Consumer Affairs Victoria. The firm must pay $300 in damages to nine customers, from a group of 17 whose complaints over the period 2002 to 2005 were upheld by the court, in recognition of the inconvenience they incurred.

Merringtons has since apologised to the customers concerned, and provided them with refunds.
 
Urgent need for Alice Springs eye clinic PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 05 September 2008
The manager of a Central Australian eye health program says there is an urgent need for a permanent eye clinic in Alice Springs.

56 people had eye surgery in Alice Springs last week as part of a series of "eye blitzes" in Central Australia. More than 250 people have had eye surgery since the blitzes, which use specialist staff from interstate, began in January last year. But Chris Masters from the Central Australian Integrated Eye Health program says waiting lists remain high as visiting specialists are finding increasing numbers of people with eye disease.

"We're finding that as we increase the access level and the amount of surgery we can do, there are more people coming out of communities who are trying to access the specialist team," he said. "It was then 360 patients waiting for eye surgery and it's now, after we've done five blitzes, we've done 250 operations just in these blitz weeks and we've still got over 300 patients of the list."
 
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