The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for April 11, 2003

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.

>  Boehringer Ingelheim reported that year-end sales for its Animal Health division stagnated at 318 million euros ($333 million).  Very favorable developments in Europe were more than offset by difficult market conditions in the Americas and restructuring needs. Overall growth was flat in euro terms and increased 3% adjusted for currency effects. (company website)

>  Provimi announced its 2002 results. Sales increased 2.2% to 1,534.1 million euros (about US$1,646 million). Net income surged 26.8% to 18 million euros, due mainly to 5.2 million euros in exceptional items boosting the bottom line. Provimi’s North American Animal Nutrition Company (NANCO) had sales decline 16.4% to 217.4 million euros (about US$233 million). Operating income for the unit declined 10.2% to 18.5 million euros (US$19.8 million). (Watt Feed Enews)


Since 1986, Brakke Consulting, Inc. has successfully assisted many clients in finding and employing exceptional employees at all levels, in the many departments of animal health, pet, veterinary and specialty chemical companies.   In the past three years alone, we have filled over 75 positions in the markets we serve. We have a unique consulting and search agreement program that we feel fits the industries we serve more appropriately than the standard retainer search. With Brakke Consulting’s insights and experience in the markets you serve, we can pre-qualify candidates, permitting clients to choose from a few of the best applicants instead of interviewing dozens of candidates.  Our approach increases the efficiency and effectiveness of our clients’ Human Resources Departments.  For more information on our Search process and the positions we have filled recently please contact any of our offices or


>  Afmedica, Inc., a newly formed medical device company, has successfully completed a Series A financing round totaling $1.3 million. The company anticipates its next financing round will be late this summer. Eli L. Thomssen, the Company’s Chief Business Officer, stated that the funds will be used to develop the first generation of products and conduct early pre-clinical trials.  Afmedica has significant patents covering novel ways to treat unwanted scar tissue, post surgical adhesions and other post surgical hyperplasias.  Initial efforts will be focused on developing biodegradable wraps containing anti-proliferative drugs, which will dramatically reduce scarring and narrowing of blood vessels at surgical sites. (company press release)  

>  Merial and AspenBio, Inc. announced that Merial has acquired exclusive global rights to market and distribute a new bovine diagnostic blood test that checks for open cows approximately 18 days after insemination.  AspenBio is currently in the final phase of product development and expects to complete a large-scale field trial in July 2003.  Financial terms were not disclosed.  (company press release)

>   DermaPet announced that TrizEDTA was issued a patent on March 25, 2003, as US Patent 6,538,155. The patent gives the company the exclusive right to manufacture, use and sell USP-quality (medical grade) tris-edta. (company newsletter)

>  Vet-Kem announced the introduction of Siphotrol Mosquito Larvicide Granules, which targets mosquito larvae before they can develop and spread disease.  The product contains s-methoprene and provides up to 21 days of control in standing water, and will not adversely affect people, pets, fish or vegetation.  (DVM newsmagazine)

>  Farnam announced the launch of Mosquito Halt Repellent Spray for Horses, and Mosquito Halt for Dogs, sprays specifically formulated to kill and repel mosquitoes. The Repellent Spray for Horses also contains aloe, lanolin and PABA sunscreen. (company press release)

>  Farnam Horse Products introduced Tri-Care, an antibacterial wound care ointment that allows the horse owner to accomplish three important treatments with one easy-to-use product. Tri-Care’s unique triple-action formula helps prevent infection, aids in pain relief, and provides a fly, water and germ barrier.  Tri-Care contains emu oil and tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and benzocaine in a beeswax/petrolatum base.  (company press release)

>  The American Heartworm Society (AHS) announced the re-launch of the organization’s web site at .  The site is part of a campaign funded by Fort Dodge Animal Health to provide the latest scientific information regarding the disease to veterinarians, pet owners and the media.  The objective of the campaign is to create an enhanced presence on the Internet for the AHS and convey a scientific message regarding the prevalence of heartworm disease. (association press release)

>  Agenix Limited, based in Australia, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, AGEN Biomedical Limited, will expand its distribution of animal health products in the USA and Europe and that the company is preparing to appoint new distributors in these two key markets.  The company expects to be able to announce agreements with these partners within the next two months.  As part of the new plan, AGEN will terminate its current agreement with Synbiotics Corporation.  Agenix renegotiated this agreement in October 2001, aiming to allow it more freedom to act in selecting the best available partner in each region. In the short term AGEN expects to continue to sell product through Synbiotics. (company press release)

>  Diamond V Mills recently received GMP+ certification, earning a perfect score. The certification recognizes a combination of good manufacturing processes (GMP) and the food and feed safety considerations of a working Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) program. (Watt Feed Enews)

>  Zinpro recently received GMP+ certification. The certification recognizes a combination of good manufacturing processes (GMP) and the food and feed safety considerations of a working Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) program. GMP+ uses the same quality assurance system that is used by the international food industry. (Watt Feed Enews)

>  The University of Pittsburgh is part of a group of investors that has bought out an American subsidiary of the British company that helped clone Dolly the sheep. Regenecor Holdings, a privately held company, was set up to acquire PPL Therapeutics, Inc., of Blacksburg, Virginia, a unit of Britain’s PPL Therapeutics Plc. (AnimalNet – Reuters)


There is still time to register for the second industry-wide Stakeholders Summit, sponsored by the Animal Agriculture Alliance.  This two-day conference, “Challenges to the U.S. Animal Protein Businesses: Domestic and International Responses, Risks and Repositioning,” will be held May 12–14, at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.  In cooperation with Rabobank International and Brakke Consulting, Inc., the Summit is targeted at senior management of all companies involved from “farm to fork.” 

For registration prior to April 19th, the cost for attendance is $375 per person, or $350 per person for more than one attendee from the same organization.  After April 19th, the cost is $425 and $400 respectively.  Registration for the Summit can be made securely via the Alliance website at


>  US   The Texas Animal Health Commission confirmed that a flock of non-commercial chickens south of El Paso, Texas has been diagnosed with Exotic Newcastle Disease (END).  Texas is the fourth state to be stricken by END since October 2002. (Texas Animal Health Commission)

>  US   The Connecticut Agriculture Department has approved a plan to vaccinate chickens at Connecticut’s largest egg producer against a form of avian influenza that has sickened more than 3 million birds at two of the company’s farms.  The plan was proposed to avoid having to kill chickens at the farms, which controls more than 90% of Connecticut’s egg market. The state plan involves vaccinating chickens two weeks before they replace chickens that pass their egg-laying prime. The company typically replaces 100,000 chickens every two weeks. (Meating Place)

>  LATIN AMERICA   Mexican and Brazilian professionals have taken the lead in creating a professional organization for professional animal nutritionists throughout Latin America. Called CLANA (Colegio Latinoamericano de Nutrición Animal), the new organization will promote international exchange among nutritionists throughout the region, with Spanish and English as primary languages.  (Watt Feed Enews)

>  RUSSIA   The USDA and Russian Ministry of Agriculture have resolved the remaining technical issues in the long-running dispute involving poultry trade. The dispute has centered on veterinary standards agreed to last year but not fully implemented due to technical differences. The agreement will allow the Russian Veterinary Service to immediately resume inspections of US poultry-processing facilities. (Pork Alert)

>  THAILAND  Thailand’s Public Health Ministry submitted a set of regulations to ban the use of pharmaceutical ingredients in animal feed. The regulations are aimed specifically at poultry and shrimp production. The move is intended to raise the standard of food produced in the nation. (Watt Feed Enews)

>  US   Scientists from Parker Hughes Cancer Center report in the April issue of “Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy” that stampidine is the first single agent to be safe and effective in treating cats chronically infected with feline immunodeficiency virus, or FIV.  During the study, cats treated with stampidine had their viral FIV loads reduced.  At higher doses stampidine eliminated FIV in cats with no side effects. (PRNewswire)

>  US   The United States and Ukraine have signed a protocol, which ends a 16-month ban on US poultry exports to that country.  The protocol establishes a revised veterinary certificate for poultry exports to Ukraine. (PRNewswire)

>  US   The town of West Hollywood, California unanimously approved a measure that bans the declawing of cats.  The city of 3,500 people already has a law on the books designating its residents as pet guardians rather than pet owners. Although cat declawing is banned in several European nations, it is not believed to be banned elsewhere in the US.  The declawing ban will affect all three of the city’s veterinary clinics. A former West Hollywood mayor also backs a bill that would apply the ban statewide. (AP)

>  US   Two banteng clones were born to Angus cows on April 1 and 3, 2003 as a result of a cross-continental collaboration involving the Zoological Society of San Diego, a Massachusetts laboratory and Trans Ova Genetics. The banteng is an endangered wild bovine species from the forests of Southeast Asia and is closely related to the domesticated cow.  The calves in Iowa are derived from cells of a male banteng who died at the San Diego Wild Animal Park in 1980 without producing offspring. Cross-species cloning is a new procedure to be used in the fight to save endangered species and represents an application of genetic technology that was not available until just a few years ago. (PRNewswire)

>  US   Changing World Technologies, Inc. announced the first commercially successful application of thermal technology to convert organic waste into clean energy.  CWT’s thermal process succeeds in breaking down long chains of organic polymers into their smallest units and reforming them into new combinations to produce clean solid, liquid and gaseous alternative fuels and specialty chemicals. (PRNewswire)


It appears that most companies are focusing on market share fights in the larger product categories with few new product introductions. We will read with interest the first quarter reports for 2003 that will start appearing next week.  If this week’s news is any indicator, the results for the first quarter will be soft. The stories this week report small new incremental products, production improvements and programs.  While there maybe some interesting technology, there does not appear to be any large sales opportunities that will drive double digit sales increases over prior year. It is easy to sound like you have a “blockbuster”, but in reality it is very difficult to deliver one. Is the reduction in research and development budgets we’ve been observing for years impacting the new product flow?  Something to think about if your organization hopes to be a leader in the next 3 to 5 years.

We want to wish Eli Thomssen the best in his new management position at Afmedica. Eli has been an important part of Brakke Consulting these past three years. He has managed our Due Diligence Seminar Programs and been involved in several growth areas for the firm. His activities will be handled by other consultants in the firm.  Good Luck, Eli, and thanks.

Ron Brakke

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