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Business news in brief

In the Region

$60M deal for Skanska USA

Skanska USA Building Inc., a construction-management and design-build company based in Blue Bell, has been awarded a $60 million contract to continue renovation work it began at Janssen Research & Development L.L.C., in Spring House in 2004. The latest project with Janssen, an affiliate of Johnson & Johnson, involves renovation to 180,000 square feet of office space to create modern and progressive laboratory upgrades, Skanska said. Construction is expected to be complete by December 2012. - Diane Mastrull

Office occupancy up in 2011

The region's office market had a positive - albeit slightly - 2011, as the overall vacancy rate dropped from 19.2 percent to 18.6 percent, according to Newmark, Knight, Frank, Smith, Mack, a real estate services firm. In all, about 661,000 square feet of real estate was filled in 2011, a substantial improvement over the emptying of 900,000 square feet in 2010. But the fourth quarter was a bit of a downer, with the region posting a net loss of 76,000 square feet of occupancy. Newmark Knight said gains in Philadelphia's central business district did not make up for losses in the suburbs, northern Delaware, and South Jersey. - Diane Mastrull

Urban's Hayne to get award

Urban Outfitters Inc. founder and chairman Richard A. Hayne is to receive the 2011 Edward Powell Award and its $100,000 prize, for contributions to Philadelphia's economic prosperity, Mayor Nutter and the Board of City Trusts announced Friday. The award is granted every four years to a business leader in honor of Powell, a European immigrant who established a knitting mill in the Fairmount section. Hayne started Urban Outfitters as a single store in 1971; today, it is a multibillion-dollar corporation with headquarters at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and parent of the retail brands Anthropologie, Free People, and Terrain. The award will be presented at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce's annual luncheon Feb. 6. - Maria Panaritis

Pfizer vaccine OKd for adults

Pfizer Inc.'s Prevnar 13 vaccine for a bacterial infection that causes pneumonia has won approval for use in adults 50 and older, a population that may add almost $2 billion to sales in 2015. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the shot, which will compete with a Merck & Co. Inc. vaccine approved almost 30 years ago, the agency said Friday in a statement. Prevnar 13, approved in the United States last year for children 6 weeks to 5 years old, produced $2.82 billion the first nine months of 2011, according to the regulatory filings from Pfizer, the world's biggest drugmaker. The company has significant operations in the Philadelphia area. - Bloomberg News