The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for September 12, 2003
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
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Boehringer Ingelheim
Digital Angel
eMerge Interactive
Formax Feeds
King Pharmaceuticals
Medallion Manufacturing
Royal Canin
Virbac (King acquisition)
Virbac (Equimax)

>  Virbac Corporation and King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that Virbac has acquired the animal health products of King for $15.1 million in cash. The transaction includes certain product assets, unfilled customer orders, inventories, manufacturing equipment and intellectual property. The transaction supports Virbac’s expansion into the veterinary companion animal pharmaceutical market, and positions Virbac as a leader in the veterinary small animal endocrinology market segment. (Business Wire)

>  DSM announced that it will pay 200 million euros ($225 million) less for the acquisition of Roche’s Fine Vitamins and Chemicals division because of the division’s poor financial results in the first half of this year.  The transaction price now stands at 1,750 million euros ($1,963 million).  The division’s net sales at 1,020 million euros were 9% lower compared with the second half of 2002.  Terms of the planned acquisition have also been changed so that Roche will now make a contribution towards the costs involved in the unbundling of the Vitamins and Fine Chemicals Division.  Roche has also agreed to make DSA a preferred supplier for the production of pharmaceutical ingredients where they are currently outsourced. (Animal Pharm)

>  Pfizer announced the introduction of Spirovac, a new vaccine that protects cattle against Leptospira borgpeterseni serovar hardjo (type: hardjo-bovis).  According to the company, Spirovac is the only vaccine that protects against this particular serovar, which is found in more than half of US dairy herds; standard L5 vaccines do not protect against this strain of Leptospira.  The new vaccine is a single-strain leptospirosis vaccine.  (Feedstuffs)

>  Medallion Manufacturing announced it has acquired Formax Feeds.  The acquisition gives Medallion a significantly expanded array of products, including dairy, beef and swine manufactured feeds, supplements and vitamin and mineral premixes, as well as specialty nutritional products for companion animals.  Financial terms were not disclosed.  (Feedstuffs)

>  Virbac Corporation announced that it has received FDA approval for its Equimax (ivermectin + praziquantel) equine anthelmintic.  The product will be distributed by Pfizer Animal Health.  Pfizer also distributes Virbac’s Equell (ivermectin).  (Animal Pharm)

>  Iams introduced Eukanuba Veterinary Diets Adult Plus food for dogs.  The product combines glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate with an optimal omega 3/6 fatty acid ratio to help manage inflammation, and L-carnitine to optimize body conditioning and minimize joint stress. (DVM Newsmagazine)

>  Royal Canin announced the addition of Persian 30 to its Feline Breed Nutrition range.  Persian 30 is a diet specifically designed to meet the needs of Persian cats’ unique morphology and fragile digestive system.  Persian 30 follows the recent introduction of Siamese 38 and Maine Coon 31, diets designed to meet the specific needs of those breeds.  (Animal Pharm)

>  Boehringer Ingelheim has launched an international clinical trial intended to show that its canine congestive heart failure medication Vetmedin (pimobendan) is superior to Novartis’ Fortekor (benazepril) in extending dogs’ lives and improving quality of life.  It is the first time in the veterinary pharmaceutical field that such a direct challenge has been made.  Novartis responded that it welcomes the trial and is looking forward to the results.  The study will be conducted as a multicenter blind randomized trial involving centers in Europe, Australia and Canada.  Results are not expected to be published until 2006.  (Animal Pharm)

>  Digital Angel Corporation announced that Randolph K. Geissler, who has served as CEO of the Company for the past three years, will become CEO of the Company’s Animal Applications and Information/Medical Divisions. During the search for a new CEO, the position of interim CEO will be filled by Kevin McLaughlin, who currently serves as President and COO of the Company’s majority owner, Applied Digital Solutions, Inc. (Business Wire)

>  ProdiGene Inc. announced that International Oilseed Distributors Inc. has acquired a majority interest in ProdiGene.  The new investor will supply working capital, assume select obligations and rapidly seek to commercialize ProdiGene’s products.  John W. Reiher has been appointed Chief Executive Officer. (Feedstuffs)

>  Surebeam Corp. announced it will close its Vernon, California processing service center in an effort to consolidate its processing services business to address a current oversupply of capacity. All customers nationwide will have the opportunity to continue to process their products at one of SureBeam’s other domestic facilities. The company operates processing service centers located in Illinois; Iowa; Texas; and Brazil. The company is a leading provider of electron beam food safety systems and services for the food industry. (Wattnet Meatnews)

>  eMerge Interactive announced that Excel Corporation has approved the installation and use of the VerifEYE Carcass Inspection System in its beef processing plants.  In a separate announcement, the company also announced the launch of a product development program to design the first system for detecting human fecal contamination on human hands.  (company press release)

>  Lifelearn’s Equine Illustrated Client Handouts is now available. This CD-ROM based product has been completely updated to include 54 topics with over 100 images and illustrations to assist veterinarians in educating their clients. The Equine Client Handouts join the complete Lifelearn Small Animal series (Canine, Feline, Behavior, Exotics/Pet Birds and Pharmacy), which are provided in MSWord format to facilitate editing and appending of special instructions for each patient. Lifelearn’s complete Client Handout series is now available integrated with most practice management software programs.  (company press release)

>  Dentaco (of Norway) announced the US launch of the Petosan pet toothbrush.  The Petosan toothbrush has two heads working in angular relationship.  The gap between the head segments allows cleaning of teeth of different lengths. The brush is now available in three different sizes packaged with pet toothpaste in dental kits.  The Butler Company is the exclusive US distributor of the Petosan toothbrush.  (company press release)

>  Banfield, The Pet Hospital, is building a primary care teaching hospital for the benefit of Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine.    The hospital will be built so that first and second-year veterinary students enrolled in the university will have a chance to learn about routine veterinary care as part of a new problem-based curriculum.  Western U. will not have a large, centralized campus hospital, choosing instead to have third- and fourth-year students work in rotations in various Los Angeles-area practices. (DVM Newsmagazine)

2004 U.S. Animal Health
Manufacturers & Distributors Directory

September 19th Deadline for Submitting Free Listing

Each January, Brakke Consulting publishes the US Animal Health Manufacturers and Distributors Directories. In 2004 they will be combined into a single volume for the first time.

Companies listed in the 2003 directories will soon be receiving a copy of the information we currently have in our directory database for their company. Please update the information and return it by fax to 972-243-0925 or by mail to the Dallas office no later than Friday, September 19th. There is no charge to be listed.  Companies that were listed in last year’s directories may also go to our web site and use the  online Directory Listing Form if they have a substantial number of changes in their listing information.

If your company was not in the 2003 directories, you may submit information about your firm to be included in the 2004 directory by going to and clicking on Industry Directory, and then Directory Listing Form.  You can either complete the form online and submit it, or
print the 2-page form, complete it, and return it by fax or by mail to the Dallas office.

If you are interested in placing an order for the directory, go to, click on Industry Directory, and then Order Directory.  Before December 15th, the prepublication price will be $200. After December 15th, the cost of the directory will be $250. They will be shipped around mid-January, 2004.

>  US   Government, food industry and academic representatives will participate in a national symposium, “How to Protect the Food Supply Chain from Terrorist Attacks,” at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia on Sept. 12 and 13. The FDA and the Technical Support Working Group, a division of the US Department of Defense, are sponsoring the symposium. (Food Systems Insider)

>  US   For the first time since May 20, the US border was open to shipments of beef from Canada. The 113-day border closure, the result of a positive BSE test from a single Black Angus cow, ended as two truckloads of boxed beef cuts from Lakeside Packers crossed the border into Sweetgrass, Montana.  (Food Systems Insider)

>  JAPAN   The Japanese Agriculture Ministry has announced that it has lifted the ban on the importing of poultry and their products from the Netherlands, which was suspended from March 3 because of outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (subtype H7). However, the lifting does not apply to poultry products that were slaughtered between 7 February and 9 August. (Wattnet Meatnews)

>  EU   The European Union’s high court ruled that Italy and other EU governments can temporarily ban genetically modified foods while they examine health risks, but must provide “detailed grounds,” not general fears, to do so.  The decision by the European Court of Justice was another blow for biotech companies trying to sell genetically modified products to a skeptical Europe. Industry groups took heart from the court’s insistence on a solid justification for even a temporary ban, although the judges left the question of how much evidence is enough for national courts to decide. In a boost for the companies, the judges said a country cannot ban a product that has been declared “substantially equivalent” to the traditional version under EU rules merely because biotech residues remain. (AP)

>  US   The US National Research Council, an arm of the National Academies, has published its first update of “Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats” since 1986.  In the report, the NRC found that as many as 25% of pets in the Western world are obese. The council has also established a Web site for pet owners to learn more about nutrition for their animals, how to determine if they are overweight and suggestions for helping them lose weight. (AnimalNet – AP)

>  US   The USDA plans to revise its food guide pyramid to include for the first time consideration of people’s age, gender, weight and the amount of exercise they get in helping calculate their dietary needs. The department also wants to focus its effort to promote healthy eating habits primarily at obese and overweight consumers, noting that they now make up more than 60% of the population. The proposal is the first phase in the government’s effort to make a new graphic or update the food pyramid, along with nutritional brochures and other educational materials. (AP)

>  US   The Agricultural Research Service, the chief scientific research agency of the USDA, is launching a pilot program that will pay for tuition, books and laboratory fees of a selected veterinarian who wants to obtain a Ph.D. in order to conduct animal disease research. Applicants for the pilot program must have earned their doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degree before beginning the Ph.D. program, and must earn a Ph.D. in a scientific discipline such as virology or microbiology that will prepare them to conduct animal disease research.  The participant must agree to work for ARS for three years as a full-time research scientist after receiving a Ph.D. (AnimalNet – ARS News Service)

>  US   Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco are evaluating a new test for detecting BSE. According to researchers, this new test, the conformation-dependent immunoassay, can detect prion proteins with perfect accuracy at much smaller levels than conventional tests and results are available within about five hours. In a field trial of the new test, it was 100% accurate in detecting prions in the brains of 11,000 slaughtered cows in Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany. This test also shows promise in being able to detect the prion proteins in the muscle tissue and even blood of living animals. Researchers hope to have the tests available within a year. The technology is licensed to InPro Biotechnology Inc. (Drovers Alert)


How about $90.00 live cattle process earlier this week?  The increased consumer consumption and reduced supply of beef has created a very positive market.  Hopefully, some of the swine and poultry meats will benefit with increased pricing in their meat sector as well.

Sales of animal health products and nutritional products should benefit from the positive markets.  We look for some strong sales performance in the third and fourth quarters of 2003 by many of the companies.  However, as you are planning 2004, remember that what goes up often comes down.  Overall, we believe that everything is shaping up for a positive 2004.  We’re also encouraged by some of the research investments that will result in new products in both the large and small animal sectors.

Have a great weekend.

Ron Brakke

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