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Sanofi-Aventis buys tan-enhancer firm

This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet

Executive Summary

Paris-based pharma company announces Oct. 30 its acquisition of French health and beauty supplement firm Laboratoire Oenobiol, which markets Oenobiol Solaire for tan enhancement. Using vegetal carotenoids - pigments in fruits and vegetables that provide color and protect against the sun's rays - the supplement stimulates the synthesis of melanin, "bring[ing] about the development of a really natural tan," firm says. Lycopene, one of the "most anti-oxidant" of the carotenoids, is present in skin, but its level drops by 50% when the body is exposed to sun. Therefore, a daily intake of lycopene from Oenobiol Solaire is recommended for anyone spending time outdoors, company says. Product also contains lutein to neutralize free radicals and filter out blue light, which is dangerous to the eyes, marketer says. In clinical trials, the supplement was associated with a 21% increase in skin's tolerance to sun and a 29% increase in melanin levels. In a same-day announcement, Sanofi reported that its OTC business grew 7.4% in the third quarter to $525.4 mil. The firm aims to double its OTC segment by 2014
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