Nova Star ferry operator hires firm for reservations

Nova Star Cruises Ltd., the operator of the planned ferry service between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, said Wednesday that it has contracted with Nova Scotia-based Intergy Applied Hospitality Solutions to handle passenger reservations.

Intergy also will help market a Nova Star program that will enable guests to combine ferry passage with shore-based hotels and excursions, a Nova Star news release said.

Intergy describes itself as a one-stop Internet sales solution provider for hotels and resorts. The ferry operator said it is well positioned to serve as the reservations center hub for Nova Star.

In addition to its current staff, Intergy plans to hire additional workers in Yarmouth to support the Nova Star business, the company said.

Data shows drop in hiring as weather weighs heavily

Service industries expanded in February at the slowest pace in four years, reflecting a plunge in hiring that shows the biggest part of the economy is struggling as harsher weather weighs on consumers and businesses.

The Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index fell to 51.6 last month, lower than any forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and the weakest since February 2010, from January’s 54, the Tempe, Ariz.-based group said Wednesday. A gauge above 50 shows expansion. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists was 53.5.

FDA rejects diabetes drug over violations at facility

Drugmakers Eli Lilly and Boehringer-Ingelheim said Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration didn’t approve their diabetes treatment empagliflozin because of concerns about a facility where the drug will be made.

Empagliflozin is a tablet that is intended to be taken once per day as a treatment for type 2 diabetes.

The drug will be made at a facility in Ingelheim, Germany. In May the FDA sent Boehringer-Ingelheim a warning letter that cited “significant violations” of manufacturing standards at the facility.

– From staff and news services