Friday, May 28, 2004

Business digest

Drug-coated stent filing may be delayed

INDIANAPOLIS - Guidant Corp. said it might have to delay filing for a key government approval for a new type of drug-coated heart stent that the company hopes will help it regain its competitive edge.

Guidant has been developing a new generation of drug-coated stents that would be absorbed by the body. But issues related to the metal portion of the stent could require changes in its production or design, the medical device maker said.

If the design does need to be altered, Guidant said it might have to delay by up to six months its filing for a government permit needed for tests that must be held before it seeks approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell the device.

Man sues Atkins Diet over heart problems

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A businessman has sued the promoters of the Atkins Diet, saying the low-carb, high-fat meal plan clogged his arteries and nearly killed him.

Jody Gorran, 53, said Thursday that he was seduced "with a bacon-wrapped cheeseburger" to blindly follow the Atkins Diet.

The lawsuit, filed with the aid of the Washington-based advocacy group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, seeks less than $15,000. The suit also names the estate of the diet's late creator, Dr. Robert Atkins.

Atkins Nutritionals said it stands by the science that has "repeatedly reaffirmed the safety and health benefits of the Atkins Nutritional Approach."

Appeals court rejects lawsuit against Honda

A federal appeals court in Cincinnati rejected a lawsuit Thursday that accused Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. of discriminating against blacks by denying them promotions at four central Ohio plants.

Three judges of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a Columbus federal judge's 2001 ruling that Honda employees Marc Bacon and Terry Harden failed to support their allegations.

The appeals court also upheld U.S. District Judge James Graham's decision to deny a request by Bacon and Harden to let their lawsuit also represent all current and former black employees of Honda's Marysville auto and motorcycle plants, the Anna engine factory and the East Liberty plant.

Publishing house founder Straus dies

NEW YORK - Roger W. Straus Jr., 87, the blunt, theatrical Guggenheim heir who co-founded one of the great publishing houses, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, died Tuesday of pneumonia at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, according to his son, Roger Straus III.

The longtime head of Farrar, Straus & Giroux was among the last of the true old-fashioned publishers.

In 1945, Straus and fellow publisher John Farrar formed Farrar, Straus & Company, Inc., which eventually gained a reputation for emphasizing literary quality over commercial success.

Straus disparaged corporate influence, vowing not to be "a division of Kleenex, or whatever."

Abbott sued over 400% rise in AIDS drug price

SAN FRANCISCO - Aetna Inc. has sued pharmaceutical maker Abbott Laboratories Inc., accusing it of seeking a monopoly on AIDS drugs by raising the price of its popular drug Norvir by 400 percent.

In the suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, the Hartford-based health insurer cited Abbott's December decision to raise the wholesale price for 120 100-milligram Norvir capsules from about $206 to $1,028.

Norvir was not a major AIDS drug on its own, but is increasingly used in small doses to boost the potency of some AIDS combination-drug therapies.

WebSideStory files for IPO of up to $57.5M

WASHINGTON - WebSideStory Inc., which provides on-demand analytical services, registered Thursday for an initial public offering of up to $57.5 million in common stock, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The San Diego-based company plans to list its common stock on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol WSSI.

Details about the number of shares offered and estimated price range for the IPO weren't disclosed in the filing. Some of the shares will be sold by current holders, the filing said.

From wire reports

Federated to give away cosmetics to end lawsuit
Graeter's rolls out fresh look
Main Street hits downturn
Need for war supplies has factories humming
Downtown building bucks vacancy trend
Home Depot shareholders voice fears on service, stock
Fed slaps firms with $70M fine over loans
Stocks rise on strong GDP data
Seattle begins using hybrid transit buses
Simon Group to build $43M headquarters in Indianapolis
IMF loans to rebuild Iraq likely this year
More Americans setting off again to explore world
Forum to focus on workplace race relations
Tristate business summary
Business digest