The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for January 11, 2002

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.


Company Earnings Releases

>  FRANCE   After a 10% drop in 1999 sales, Guyomarc’h recovered in 2001, with sales of 670.6 million euros ($607 million). The jump represents an increase of 586.2 million euros, 14% over 2000. Net operating profit rose to over 13.3 million euros, a gain of 3.3%, though net profit for the group dropped 4 million euros to 11.2 million.  In mid-May, the company plans to change its name to Evialis, and will restructure into three main areas of activity: international nutrition consulting, animal health and feed. (Watt Feed E-news)

Company News Releases

>  Pfizer announced that the fluoroquinolone antibiotic Zeniquin (marbofloxacin) is now approved for treating skin and soft-tissue infections in cats.  The drug was first approved for use in dogs in 1999.  (company press release)

>  Marvin Sussman took over as president of Philipp Brothers Chemicals’ Phibro Animal Health division. Robert Querido has stepped down and plans to continue his involvement with the company, dividing his time between the company and a medical device company in Florida. Sussman joined Philipp Brothers Chemicals in 1971 and has served in various executive positions, including chief operating officer of Phillip Brothers and president of the Prince Agri Products subsidiary. (Watt Feed E-news)

>  The USDA has issued a U.S. veterinary biological product permit to Biocor Animal Health, Inc. for a bovine gamma interferon test kit for use in the diagnosis of tuberculosis infection in cattle.  Bovigam-TB is a rapid in vitro blood-based test for the diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis infection in cattle. The test is intended for use after skin testing for tuberculosis in cattle has been completed. The gamma interferon kit is used as a confirmatory test for positive and negative cattle within three to 30 days of the skin test. (Meating Place)

>  Monsanto announced the acquisition of Unipork Genetics from United Grain Growers.  The swine genetics business will be incorporated into Monsanto’s existing Dekalb Choice Genetics Unit.  (Veterinary Practice News)

>  Biogal Galed Laboratories recently announced the introduction of their Immunocomb IgM antibody test kits for Canine Distemper and Canine Parvovirus. Elevated IgM antibody levels are usually found for these diseases in recently infected or vaccinated animals. When used in conjunction with Biogal’s IgG antibody test kits these new  IgM kits will enable veterinarians a much better ability for the early detection of these important diseases. Biogal also announced an update to their Combscan computer software package, which enables the construction of computer test result databases from using their Immunocomb diagnostic test kits. The software is particularly applicable for users performing large numbers of tests on flocks or herds and using standard personal computer and scanning technologies. (Brakke Consulting – private communication)

>  Safepath Laboratories announced the introduction of its Toxoplasma Swine Antibody ELISA Test Kit.  The kit will detect antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii  from blood, serum, plasma, or tissue fluid (meat juice) and can be completed in about 30 minutes. The SafePath Toxoplasma Swine Antibody Test has been cleared for Veterinary Use by the USDA Biologics Division, and can be used on swine both ante, and post mortem.  The kit is a microwell immunoassay
employing 8 well breakaway strips, and includes positive and negative controls.  (AnimalNet)

>  AgInfoLink USA Inc. has launched a new web-based information system, offering shareowners in the Iowa Quality Beef Supply Network (IQBSN) access to secure harvest data with the latest on-line reporting capabilities.  Users simply visit the Aginfolink website for access to harvest and production data from their cattle marketing. The harvest data is matched with live animal production data, and the online system even allows for online addition and editing of production information. The IQBSN harvest data is calculated on the proprietary IQB grid, negotiated by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association for their members, with Excel Corporation at their Schuyler, Nebraska plant.  Users benefit from the ability to benchmark their cattle performance to other cattle they have marketed and to cattle marketed by other IQBSN shareowners. (company press release)

>  Sergeant’s Pet Care Products announced the acquisition of several pet treat brands from Pet Life Inc.  The brands acquired included People Crackers, Lolli-Pups, Doggie Donuts, and others.  Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.  The acquisition allows Sergeant’s to significantly increase the company’s pet treat business. (Pet Business)

>  PETCO Animal Supplies Inc. in conjunction with the PETCO Foundation reported a record- breaking $1.34 million raised during their annual “Tree of Hope” fundraising campaign.  Money collected will assist over 400 animal welfare organizations from across the nation. (PRNewswire)

Animal Health News

>  UK   On December 30, 2001 the United Kingdom passed the 3 months threshold after the last Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak. The disease was first diagnosed among pigs at an abattoir in Essex on February 20 2001.  One in 8 of all farm animals in the UK were killed.  There were a total of 2,030 FMD positive animals identified and millions slaughtered in efforts to stop the spread of the disease.  Although not all the restrictions have been lifted (4 counties are still ’at risk’ according to the OIE / EU qualifications), free trade in vet meds and pet food can now take place all over the country.  (A Consult)

>  BELGIUM   Two new cases of BSE has been discovered in Belgium, bringing the number found in the country since the first case was diagnosed in 1997 to 67. These are the first cases detected in the country this year. (Wattnet Meatnews)

>  US   The USDA has approved the use of activated lactoferrin on fresh beef, providing beef processors with a new and potentially powerful food-safety technology to protect consumers from pathogenic bacteria.  Activated lactoferrin is an all-natural protein found in milk and dairy products. It has been shown to protect fresh beef against E. coli O157:H7, and more than 30 different pathogens, including salmonella and campylobacter. The technology is unique in that it prevents pathogenic bacteria from attaching to meat surfaces in addition to preventing growth, according to a new release.  Farmland National Beef, the nation’s largest producer-owned beef packer, expects to be the first company to offer fresh beef treated by activated lactoferrin, once final applications systems development and testing are complete. (Meating Place)

Agribusiness News

>  From 2000 to 2001, global crop area involved in genetically modified (GM) crops increased 19%, or an equivalent of 20.8 million acres, according to the ISAAA (International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications). The number is almost double the increase between 1999 and 2000, which was 11%. Another finding by ISAAA is estimated global area of transgenic or GM crops for 2001: 52.6 million hectares (130.0 million acres), the first time global area of GM crops has exceeded 50 million hectares. (DirectAg)

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

The news this week in the product area is dominated by new diagnostics that have been approved or are in development.  We have been saying for some time that diagnostics will be one of the growth areas in veterinary medicine.  If your firm is interested in improving the health programs of animals (either food or companion), you need to be integrating your leading products with improved diagnostics to achieve their most appropriate and efficient use.  Prescribing the best product for a known condition will allow the animal the recover more quickly and minimize the exposure to excess or ineffective drugs.  While it may impact some drug sales negatively, the animals, practitioners, and consumers will benefit in the long run.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the NAVC in Orlando this coming weekend and early next week.  It looks to be a very busy meeting.  Travel safely and have a productive meeting.

[Ron Brakke]

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