Business in brief

Sirtris hopes for FDA OK in '12 for diabetes drug

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January 10, 2008

Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc. hopes to bring its first drug to market in 2012 or 2013, said chief executive Christoph Westphal. This week, Sirtris released results from an early clinical trial that found patients with Type 2 diabetes who took the drug, called SRT501, showed improvement after 28 days. The treatment is a concentrated form of resveratrol, a substance found in red wine that is believed to stimulate a gene that slows the effects of aging. Despite the positive results, Westphal cautioned that the drug must be tested in several larger and longer clinical trials over the next few years before it can win approval from the Food and Drug Administration. (Todd Wallack)

JetBlue to fly daily from Boston to Jacksonville, Fla.
JetBlue Airways will say today it is starting service between Boston and Jacksonville, Fla., on March 15. The carrier says it is the only low-fare airline that will offer daily nonstop service between the cities and the only carrier to fly a full-size jet on that route. Introductory one-way fares start at $69. JetBlue will depart Logan International Airport at 6:10 p.m. daily, arriving at Jacksonville International Airport at 9 p.m. The return flight leaves Jacksonville at 8 a.m. daily, landing in Boston at 10:35 a.m. Jacksonville is JetBlue's 28th nonstop destination from Boston. (Nicole C. Wong)

Oceanaire Seafood to open Jan. 24 in Scollay Building
Does Boston need another seafood restaurant? From Minneapolis? Terry Ryan, chief executive of a company with 14 Oceanaire Seafood Rooms nationwide thinks so. After searching eight years for the right spot, he said he's found it. The 300-seat Oceanaire is set to open Jan. 24 at 40 Court St., in the 96-year-old Scollay Building, former home to United States Trust Co. The Minnesota company is spending $5 million to renovate and restore the first floor. (Thomas C. Palmer Jr.)

Suffolk University opens dormitory at 10 West St.
Suffolk University opened its 10 West St. dormitory in the Ladder District, a failed residential condo project in an existing office building the university converted into a 274-bed dorm. The first floor will house retail stores, including possibly an Italian restaurant. A mix of apartments, suites, lofts, and multibed units, some with kitchens, in two adjacent buildings, 10 West will adjoin another new Suffolk dorm, which is to be built on the Modern Theatre site and will be the last Suffolk student residence in the area. The 10 West St. dorm will bring to 1,000 the number of Suffolk students in university housing, about a quarter of enrollment. (Thomas C. Palmer Jr.)

Hasbro to cut 200 jobs at East Longmeadow plant
Toy maker Hasbro Inc. said it will cut 200 manufacturing and support jobs at an East Longmeadow factory, but also invest $40 million to modernize the board game plant. About 1,350 people work at the plant. The jobs to be cut beginning next month represent about 3 percent of the 5,800-person global workforce at Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro, said Wayne Charness, a spokesman for the world's second-largest toy company. (AP)

Walgreen to offer shipping with DHL in most US stores
Drugstore chain Walgreen Co. said it would offer shipping services at nearly all its US stores as part of an agreement with delivery company DHL. Financial terms were not disclosed. It expects to install DHL centers in about 6,500 stores by year-end, with about 1,600 Walgreens offering DHL services around the clock. The move will give DHL, a subsidiary of German mail and shipping company Deutsche Post AG, a hefty boost - doubling the number of retail outlets where its services are provided. (AP)

Ex-British prime minister expected to join JPMorgan
Former British prime minister Tony Blair is expected to join JPMorgan Chase & Co. Inc., as a senior adviser, according to a person familiar with the situation. JPMorgan declined to comment. The Financial Times in London first reported the move on its website, saying it would be the first of a series positions Blair expects to take in the private sector. (Reuters)

Target CEO to retire May 1, president named successor
Target Corp. said chief executive Bob Ulrich will retire May 1 and be replaced by president Gregg Steinhafel. Ulrich, 64, will remain as chairman of the nation's second-largest discount retailer through the end of fiscal 2008. He has been with the company that became Target since 1967 and has been chairman and CEO since 1994. (AP)

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