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Business in brief

Stop & Shop recalls tuna salad over Listeria fears

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August 12, 2008

THE REGION
Stop & Shop is voluntarily recalling tuna salad because it could be contaminated with Listeria. The supermarket chain says the recall covers prepackaged 12-ounce containers of Stop & Shop Tuna Salad with a sell-by date of Aug. 19, as well as tuna salad sold at the service deli. Customers can return the product for a full refund. The company says no illnesses have been reported. The bacteria Listeria monocytogenes can be fatal to the elderly, newborns, and people with weakened immune systems. It can also cause miscarriages. Home Made Food Brands of Newburyport says the tuna salad was distributed to stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. (AP)

Icahn raises Biogen Idec stake to more than 6%
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn boosted his stake in Biogen Idec Inc. to 6.03 percent and said his representatives will continue to talk with the company about "concerns relating to shareholder value." Icahn now owns 17.5 million shares of the Cambridge-based biotechnology company, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He had held 9.95 million shares as of March 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. (Bloomberg)

Judge rules Facebook can start takeover of ConnectU
Facebook Inc., operator of the most-popular social-networking website, won a judge's approval to take over Cambridge-based ConnectU Inc. as part of a lawsuit settlement before an appeal of the court-approved deal is heard. ConnectU, which claims Facebook engaged in fraud during negotiations, must transfer its stock and comply with other terms of the settlement by today, US District Judge James Ware said in a ruling Friday in San Jose, Calif. Under the deal, stemming from ConnectU's 2004 allegations that Facebook stole its computer code, control of ConnectU will be transferred to Facebook. ConnectU's founders will get stock in Facebook and "millions" of dollars in cash, according to court papers. (Bloomberg)

ArQule 2d-quarter loss widens on higher costs
Biotechnology company ArQule Inc., which focuses on cancer therapies, said its second-quarter loss widened on higher clinical development costs. The Woburn company lost $16 million, or 37 cents per share, compared with a loss of $13.4 million, or 36 cents per share, during the same period a year prior. Revenue rose to $2.6 million from $2.2 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected a loss of 39 cents per share. (AP)

Nuance Communications loses more in 3d quarter
Nuance Communications Inc. posted a loss for the fiscal third quarter that was 30 percent wider than its year-ago results, but its adjusted numbers still managed to beat Wall Street's consensus estimate by a penny. The Burlington company which makes speech-based technology lost $9.9 million, or 5 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30, compared with a loss of $7.6 million, or 4 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue climbed 38 percent to $216.7 million from $156.6 million a year earlier. Excluding items, net income was $51.4 million, or 22 cents per share, up from $27.9 million, or 14 cents per share, a year ago. Wall Street on average had expected earnings of 21 cents per share on $232.3 million in revenue, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Financial. (AP)

Follica raises $11m in 2d round of venture financing
Follica Inc., a Boston company working on developing treatments for hair loss and other "hair follicle disorders," raised $11 million in its second round of venture capital. Investors included Polaris Venture Partners, Interwest Partners, and PureTech Ventures. The company, which raised $5.5 million in January, currently has four full-time employees. (Todd Wallack)

FDA OK's Inverness avian flu test for veterinary use
Inverness Medical Innovations Inc. said the Department of Agriculture issued the Waltham medical diagnostics company a license to make and sell its avian flu test kit for veterinary use. BinaxNOW, gives test results within 15 minutes, compared with traditional methods which can take days. The company already has a kit for human use approved by the Food and Drug Administration. (AP)

Allegro MicroSystems pulls initial public offering
Allegro MicroSystems Inc., which makes semiconductors for the automotive industry and other markets, said it will not go through with its initial public offering of common stock due to current market conditions. The Worcester company said it withdrew its registration statement for the offering it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. (AP)

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