The Experts in Animal Health

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for January 13, 2006

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM, MBA
other news
Green Forest Egg
GTC Biotherapeutics
Nestle Purina
MARCH 20 – 22, 2006
The Animal Agriculture Alliance (Alliance) announced its Fifth Annual Stakeholders Summit to be held March 20-22, 2006 at the Sheraton Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. The theme for the upcoming Summit is “Animal Welfare, Antibiotics and Activism: Leadership, Action and Solutions to Challenging Issues.” The program builds off last year’s success and will include prominent speakers on key topics including:
 – The importance of leadership in successful animal welfare and anti-terror initiatives
 – Consumers’ views about animal welfare
 – Advances in animal welfare
 – International animal welfare standards
 – Domestic regulatory initiatives
 – The legal status of animals and efforts to change their status
 – Ways to improve media relations
For more information, please visit the Alliance website at
> Bioject Medical Technologies Inc. announced that it has entered into three project agreements with Merial Ltd.  As part of these agreements, Bioject will perform feasibility analyses for a next generation Vetjet device for the companion animal market, as well as devices for production animal and poultry markets.  Bioject and Merial currently have collaborations for Bioject’s Vetjet product, which was commercialized in 2004, and its production animal product, which is expected to be commercialized in late 2006. (PRNewswire)
>  Phytopharm plc announced that it has entered into an exclusive global marketing and distribution agreement with Schering-Plough Animal Health for Phytopica, a plant-based product clinically proven to promote healthy skin and coat in dogs.  Under the terms of the agreement, Phytopharm will be responsible for the manufacture and sale of Phytopica to Schering-Plough.  Schering-Plough will be responsible for the global sales, marketing and distribution of Phytopica.  Financial terms were not disclosed.  (Biotech Intelligence) 

> Nestlé Purina announced the introduction of new dental health diets that deliver proven tartar reduction with customized kibble size and complete nutrition for everyday feeding of adult dogs and cats. Purina Veterinary Diets DH Dental Health brand Canine and Feline Formulas feature a patented kibble texture to reduce plaque and tartar buildup, coupled with a highly palatable formula to promote client compliance. (company press release)
> IDEXX Computer Systems, a division of IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., announced VetVault, an automated backup and recovery service which simplifies daily workflows, provides a secure way to protect practice records, and ensures business continuity in the event of a power outage or other service interruptions. VetVault is available to all IDEXX Cornerstone and Better Choice customers as well as IDEXX Digital Radiography customers using IDEXX-PACS software to integrate with IDEXX Cornerstone.  IDEXX also announced the release of Cornerstone 6.2 practice management software. (company website)   
> Bioniche Animal Health USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Bioniche Life Sciences, Inc., announced the new CONSOLE Pet Loss Support System for U.S. veterinary practices. The new CONSOLE Pet Loss Support System offers a systematic, integrated communications approach that addresses the needs of everyone involved in the death of a pet. The system includes step-by-step training materials for the clinic staff as well as support materials for pet owners. (company press release)   
> Cal-Maine Foods Inc. announced an agreement with Green Forest Egg Co. LLC in which Cal-Maine and Green Forest have formed a new partnership-structured egg company. The new company, Green Forest Foods LLC, is a 50-50 joint venture capitalized by Cal-Maine that will be jointly operated by Cal-Maine and Green Forest Egg, with Green Forest Foods leasing the land, buildings and equipment that have been owned by Green Forest Egg. (Feedstuffs Online) 
> SkyLynx Communications, a worldwide provider of secure, high-availability, dedicated wireless data networks for mobile and static applications, announced that it will acquire VETCO Hospitals, Inc., a California-based provider of veterinary health care products and services and operator of state-of-the-art animal hospitals and community vaccination clinics throughout the Southwestern US. The all stock deal is valued at $3.25 million. VETCO’s current annual revenue rate for the last twelve months ending September 30, 2005 is $5.9 million. VETCO operates 135 vaccine clinics and 5 full service veterinary hospitals inside of PETCO stores in five 5 western states. In addition, VETCO operates an e-commerce website, (Business Wire) 
>  GTC Biotherapeutics, Inc. announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for the claims in its patent application 07/938,322 covering the production of therapeutic proteins in the milk of transgenic mammals. The allowed claims, which are expected to issue in the next several weeks, include all classes of proteins in all mammals. (AnimalNet)
> UK  PetScreen, a British bioscience company, introduced a pioneering treatment for cancer in animals. PetScreen offers an innovative screening, detection and treatment program. The screening service looks for patterns to detect a range of cancers in blood serum. If cancer is detected, the company offers an individualized chemotherapy service which makes treatment selection fast and easy. The initial focus will be on dogs, with cats a close second. The program will be available through selected veterinary hospitals and practices across the UK and many practices have already expressed serious interest.  (Pet Owners Online)
Brakke Consulting will once again be presenting our 2006 Industry Overview at the North American Veterinary Conference and the Western Veterinary Conference.
Western Veterinary Conference – Las Vegas
The 2006 Industry Overview will be presented on Tuesday, February 21 from 8:30am – 10:30 am at the Four Seasons hotel adjacent to the Mandalay Bay.
New York City
January 30, 2006
1:30pm – 4:30pm
The Princeton Club
Early registration is $325 for the first company attendee and $300 for additional attendees at the same presentation.  To register, visit our website at, or call Jane Morgan at 972-243-4033 or email
>   TURKEY – AVIAN INFLUENZA   Avian influenza has been detected in two wild ducks near the capital, Ankara, nearly 1,000 km (700 miles) west of infected areas where three children died of the disease in recent days. The discovery suggests migratory birds may be spreading the disease across the large country, as experts had warned. (AnimalNet – Reuters)
> VIETNAM – AVIAN INFLUENZA   A recent test showed that avian influenza still existed in northern Cao Bang province, the last locality of Vietnam facing the disease. Specimens taken on Dec. 29, 2005 from poultry in Doc Lap commune of Quang Uyen district were tested positive to bird flu viruses. Local relevant agencies have culled 290 chickens and ducks in the affected areas. (Xinhuanet)
> UKRAINE – AVIAN INFLUENZA  Ukraine announced it has found the H5 strain of avian influenza at three poultry farms in eastern Crimea as the government battles an outbreak of the disease. Mass poultry deaths were detected at the start of the month at three poultry plants in Primorskoe village in Crimea. It was unclear whether it was the H5N1 strain. (AnimalNet – Reuters)
> US – ANIMAL ID CONSORTIUM FORMED  A news release this week announced the formation of the United States Animal Identification Organization, an independent group intended to manage an industry-led animal-identification movement database as prescribed by the National Animal Identification System. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association initiated this effort, and, for the past year, has worked to build an industry consortium. The group has submitted a memorandum of understanding to the USDA to form a strategic partnership and fulfill Secretary Johanns’ directive for the industry to develop the database repository. (Drovers Alert)
>  US – NAIS FURTHER DEFINED   The USDA announced a new direction for tracking animals in the National Animal Identification System. Under the new concept, multiple private databases will be encouraged, along with the technology for USDA to connect to those databases to access data on animal movements.  Databases will continue to be privately held under the new proposal. (Feedstuffs online)
North American Veterinary Conference
January 7 – 11, 2006
The 2006 North American Veterinary Conference wrapped up in Orlando this week.  The conference boasted over 14,500 registrations, including 5,500 veterinarians and nearly 2,500 exhibitors.  The 178,000 square feet of exhibit space housed 550 commercial and educational booths, and enjoyed brisk foot traffic throughout the meeting.
Congratulations to Dr. Colin Burrows and all the staff at the NAVC on another successful meeting.  The NAVC is always a great kick-off to a new year.  I heard nothing but positive comments regarding the meeting.  We’re pleased to be a part of the NAVC each year.
It’s still a bit early for year-end financial reporting from the major companies, but we hear that everyone ended the year on the plus-side of expectations.  Based on some of the early communications, we believe that the market grew by 8 – 9% in 2005.  At least half of the growth was price increases for improved products. 
At the NAVC, we were able to confirm or learn of several new initiatives for growth in 2006 by a number of key players.  We believe that 2006 will be another great year in animal health.
Have a great weekend.
Ron Brakke
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