Company news from the 03/20/07 news brief

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Ranbaxy Labs has withdrawn from the sale of the generics unit of German pharma firm Merck KGaA. The Journal quoted an anonymous source as saying the Indian pharmaceutical company perceived the valuation as too high, though spokesmen from Ranbaxy and Merck declined to comment to the newspaper. Last week, Ranbaxy said it had made a non-binding bid for the asset, making it one of several generics firms and private equity groups to do so. Other generic drug firms entering bids earlier this month were Teva Pharmaceutical, Mylan Labs and Actavis Group. Private-equity firms Bain Capital and Apax Partners made a joint offer. And Indian generics maker Cipla agreed to advise a second offer from a consortium consisting mostly of private-equity companies. The price of the unit is reported to be between $5 billion and $6.5 billion. Last month Merck KGaA started exploring options for the generics unit, which had 2006 sales of $2.4 billion. Final bids are due by the end of April, a source told the WSJ, with Merck due to compile a short list of suitors by this week. Bear Stearns is handling talks with potential buyers. A successful bid by Ranbaxy would have made it the third-biggest biggest generics firm, behind Teva and Novartis’ Sandoz unit. IMS Health has acquired Falls Church, VA, analytics and consulting firm ValueMedics Research. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. ValueMedics' core offerings include critical qualitative and quantitative HEOR analytics, strategic consulting and healthcare communications, as well as evidence-based program evaluation and design. The company’s work in the areas of patient compliance and the economic valuations of medical technologies is widely recognized by the industry, IMS said. Dermik Laboratories, a business of Sanofi-Aventis, has announced the launch of AgingWithBeauty.com, a new Web site designed to educate consumers about the facial aging process and the various anti-aging treatments. The site aims to explain the underlying causes and actions of facial aging, providing visual examples of how aging affects our bodies internally, externally, physiologically and temporally. It provides a glossary with detailed explanations about different anti-aging treatments and links to resources such as research articles, clinical studies and professional organizations that provide further information on facial aging. The site also emphasizes the importance of selecting a medical professional trained to administer facial rejuvenation procedures and strives to foster discussion between the consumer and physician about available options. InVentiv’s Stonefly is rebranding with a new logo and the tagline "Believe in Health." The ad agency is launching a new Web site, at stoneflygroup.com and believeinhealth.com, highlighting the individual stories of staff and interactive features inviting visitors to share their stories about why they “believe in health.” The rebrand will be complemented by a new advertising campaign, direct mail and sales materials reflecting the Believe in Health motif.
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