News Briefs


Gilead Sciences receives FDA OK for Sunlenca

The words approved in red capitalized letters

The Food and Drug Administration approved Gilead Sciences’ Sunlenca (lenacapavir), a new type of antiretroviral medication for adult patients living with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), whose HIV infections cannot be successfully treated with other available treatments due to resistance, intolerance or safety considerations.

After the starting dose is completed, Sunlenca is administered as subcutaneous (under the skin) injections once every six months, allowing convenient dosing for patients.

"Today's approval ushers in a new class of antiretroviral drugs that may help patients with HIV who have run out of treatment options," said Debra Birnkrant, director of the division of antivirals in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "The availability of new classes of antiretroviral medications may possibly help these patients live longer, healthier lives."

Sunlenca is the first of a new class of drugs called capsid inhibitors to be FDA-approved for treating HIV-1. Sunlenca works by blocking the HIV-1 virus' protein shell (the capsid), thereby interfering with multiple essential steps of the viral lifecycle. Sunlenca's starting dose is given as oral tablets and subcutaneous injections, followed by maintenance injections every six months; Sunlenca is given in combination with other antiretroviral(s).


Designer Greetings acquires master greeting card distributor QPS, subdistributors


Designer Greetings has acquired Oklahoma City master greeting card distributor QPS and their sub distributors: United Wholesale, Cards N Such, Intermountain Greetings, Cards Plus, Northwest Cardco, MDS, Maida and Kibby.

This is the largest acquisition of a greeting card distributor in North America’s history and marks the 17th acquisition for Designer Greetings.

Designer Greetings CEO and president, Steven Gimbelman, said, “QPS has been a distribution partner of Designer Greetings for over 15 years. We’ve developed a solid relationship over the years and the natural progression for an acquisition was imminent. QPS, under the leadership of Paul Casperson, grew the business over the years from repeated greeting card distributor acquisitions, namely United Wholesale, Northwest Cardco, Cards N Such, Intermountain Greetings, Cards Plus, MDS, Maida and Kibby.  QPS has always provided excellent product and superior service to its thousands of partner retailers throughout the United States. We are happy to welcome QPS to our family of partner acquisitions.”


Native spreads all-over-body freshness with ozone-friendly spray

Native Deodorant and Body Sprays

There’s a new way to experience Native’s aluminum and paraben-free stick deodorants.

New from the brand is its line of Deodorant and Body Sprays, which are ozone-friendly and natural propellant spray that offers all-day odor protection.

Featuring water, fragrance and such plant-oil derived skin conditioning ingredients as caprylic/capric triglyceride and dipropylene glycol to help keep users fresh, it also contains denaturated alcohol made from plants for fast-drying, the company said.

Available scents include coconut and vanilla, cucumber and mint, eucalyptus and mint, lilac and white tea, sea salt and cedar, and sweet peach and nectar.

Retailing for $14 each, Native’s new Deodorant and Body Sprays are available for purchase online.


Siggi’s launces rich, creamy skyr

Siggi’s rich and creamy skyr

Siggi’s is expanding its iconic Icelandic skyr products with the launch of a new line — rich and creamy skyr.

Featuring an inspired twist of the brand’s iconic product, this latest innovation has whole milk, contains 10 g of protein per serving and comes in zesty lemon, ripe cherry and vanilla honey flavors.

Mostly available on the East Coast, retailers that carry the line include Whole Foods, Hannaford’s, Stop & Shop, Giant, Wegmans, Big Y and Wakefern, the company said. 

Siggi’s rich and creamy skyr retails for $1.89.



Mars enters nutrition performance category with Snickers Hi Protein Bars

snickers hi protein bar

Mars’ popular Snickers brand is entering with nutrition performance category with a line of protein bars.

Snickers Hi Protein Bars, which contain chocolate, caramel and peanut ingredients, are packed with 20 g of protein per serving, the company said.

“Mars is consumer obsessed, and after talking with many consumers through the product development process, it was clear that the performance nutrition category was missing one key ingredient — delicious tasting products,’ said Michelle Deignan, senior brand director at Mars Wrigley. "With the demand for delicious tasting protein bars increasing, Snickers Hi Protein Bars are guaranteed to be a hit whether you work out avidly, casually or are looking for a delicious snack with more protein.”

Consumers can get their hands on Snickers Hi Protein Bars in January 2023 at select retailers. It will expand to additional retailers in the coming year.


Bausch + Lomb receives FDA OK for Biotrue Hydration Boost Contact Lens Rehydrating Drops

man putting drops in eye

Bausch + Lomb has received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for Biotrue Hydration Boost Contact Lens Rehydrating drops, a preservative-free multi-dose rehydrating drop for use with soft and rigid gas permeable contact lenses.    

“We are proud to continue to build upon our successful Biotrue brand with the FDA clearance of Biotrue Hydration Boost for Contacts,” said Joe Gordon, president of global consumer, vision care and surgical, at Bausch + Lomb. “Approximately, one-third of the 45 million contact lens wearers in the United States experience contact lens dryness. We look forward to making this product available during the first half of 2023 to provide lens wearers with a new contact lens drop that delivers instant moisture and provides up to eight hours of moisture.” 

Biotrue Hydration Boost Contact Lens drops contain a combination of ingredients informed by the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society's DEWS II report, including hyaluronan, a moisturizer found naturally in the eye, and other naturally inspired ingredients. Biotrue Hydration Boost for Contacts also matches the pH of healthy tears for comfort, the company said.

"Many of my patients experience dry, uncomfortable contact lenses throughout the day,” said Mile Brujic, of Premier Vision Group in Bowling Green, Ohio. “The availability of Biotrue Hydration Boost for contacts will help my patients quickly reduce their contact lens-related dryness. I look forward to recommending this product to patients as soon as it is available next year."