Company news: Galderma, UCB, GSK

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Dermatology giant Galderma is scooping up fellow Swiss skin company Spirig. The companies announced the deal Wednesday. “With this acquisition, Galderma will become the dermatology market leader in Switzerland, our home country,” Galderma's CEO, Humberto Antunes, said in a statement. The purchase brings together Galderma's portfolio of brands, which includes the OTC brand Cetaphil along with the botulinium injectable Dysport, with Spirig's products, such as Excipial and Daylong, which can help prevent the skin condition actinis keratotis, sometimes associated with cancer.

Daily victories are the focus of a fundraising effort between UCB and the Arthritis Foundation. The campaign includes the EverydayRAvictories website that is meant to help RA patients “celebrate the individual accomplishments of people succeeding with rheumatoid arthritis," accomplishments like going to the gym or washing the dog. Visitors can click on buttons labeled “congrats” or “me too” below each story in addition to submitting their own. UCB is donating $1 to the Arthritis Foundation for every story submitted, up to $30,000. The autoimmune disease is associated with swelling and sometimes deformity of joints, pain and reduced range of motion. UCB makes the RA drug Cimzia.

GSK and Vodafone have teamed up to see if mobile services can help boost vaccination rates in Africa. The one-year pilot is in tandem with Save the Children and the Mozambique Ministry of Health, and seeks to take advantage of the widespread use of mobile phones for healthcare basics. The program will send text messages to mothers about the importance and accessibility of vaccines, and mothers will be able to set up appointments via text, in addition to receiving notifications about past vaccinations and future needs. The alliance also includes looping in healthcare providers by providing smartphones and software to help them contact mothers as well as record vaccination histories and file reports and schedule appointments. The trial's goal is to increase vaccination rates between 5% and 10% and includes 100 clinics.

HHS is challenging developers to create an app that will help any user find the health-related information they need among all of the preventative services information the government agency offers. The challenge comes with three $10,000 cash prizes for apps that make it through the Phase I of vetting. Phase I submissions must be in by February 1. The agency says the goal is to create a flexible app that can accommodate a range of uses, such as locating questions to bring to a child's well-visit, finding a local doctor who accepts Medicare, or finding information for a healthy eating discussion.
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