The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for July 14, 2000

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company News Releases

>  Schering-Plough Corporation announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation to purchase Novartis’ research and office facility located in Summit, N.J.  Financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.  The research and development, laboratory and office complex totals approximately 2 million square feet.  Subject to certain terms and conditions being met, it is expected that the transaction will close in the fourth quarter. (PRNewswire)

>  Novartis Animal Health announced that it has entered an agreement with to develop and publish a Drug Reference Library on’s pet health resource website.  Sponsored by Novartis, the Drug Reference Library will be operable in the fall and will benefit veterinarians and pet owners by providing them with accurate online pet medical information to ensure the best possible pet care.  Use of the Drug Reference Library will be free of charge.  (company press release)

>  As a clarification to a previously reported item regarding the closure of Aventis’ Virogenetics Corporation facility in New York: the Virogenetics group has moved to the Aventis facility in Toronto, Canada.  Merial remains committed to the core development activities of Virogenetics, which have developed several groundbreaking vaccines. (company information)

>  Synbiotics Corp. announced that its Synbiotics Animal Health unit’s European operation has launched Witness Ehrlichia, a rapid veterinarian’s office test for the diagnosis of Ehrlichia canis infection in dogs.  Witness Ehrlichia is the seventh product in Synbiotics Animal Health’s international line of Witness point of care diagnostic products. (BW HealthWire)

>  The Hartz Mountain Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the closely held Hartz Group, has retained JP Morgan to explore strategic business alternatives including merger, sale, or acquisition.  Founded in 1926 by Max Stern, Hartz Mountain is America’s largest marketer of pet supplies.  Hartz will be studying various options with the assistance of JP Morgan and hopes to announce its intentions shortly. (Business Wire)

>  Farnam Pet Products has launched Gentle Touch Flea Drops, the first and only spot-on with natural ingredients to controls fleas on pets. Gentle Touch is an effective alternative to chemical flea control products, killing and controlling fleas for up to four weeks.  The natural ingredients include citric acid, a natural fuel in living organisms, soybean oil and hydrogenated vegetable oil.  Gentle Touch is an adulticide that kills and repels fleas for up to four weeks.  The ingredients in Gentle Touch are not pesticidal and should not interfere with or increase the toxicity of other flea control products. (PRNewswire)

>  ALR Technologies Inc. announced the launch of a new line of medication reminder products for the veterinary pharmaceutical market. The products, which utilize microchip technology, are designed to increase pet owner compliance in the administration of monthly and daily medications and will be marketed under the brand name “ALRT”.  ALR Tech is entering into a distribution agreement with National Logistics Services.  In addition to the NLS partnership, ALR Tech is negotiating with other distributors to provide coverage in all areas of the US and Canada — as well as the major markets of Europe and Australia.  (Business Wire)

>  King Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Jones Pharma Inc., parent company of Daniels Pharmaceuticals, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge the two companies in a stock-for-stock transaction.  Following completion of the transaction, the new company will have $552.6 million pro forma revenues for the most recent preceding 12 month period, and an enterprise value of approximately $7.8 billion. (PRNewswire)

> Pet Assure, Inc. and Walt Disney Pictures have entered into a promotional partnership for the theatrical release of “102 Dalmatians,” the studio’s follow-up to its 1996 blockbuster hit “101 Dalmatians.”  Beginning in November 2000, Pet Assure will reimburse moviegoers for the full price of up to two (2) tickets to “102 Dalmatians” with the purchase of a Pet Assure membership.  Pet Assure members receive a discount on veterinary services and prescription drugs from over 2,200 participating providers nationwide along with savings on other pet-related purchases. (PRNewswire)

>  VetExchange announced it is entering into a subscriber agreement with publishing company Veterinary Learning Systems (VLS) to enable VetExchange clients and VLS subscribers to access online content from magazines such as The Compendium on Continuing Education, Veterinary Technician and original books published by VLS. Additionally, continuing education courses, the annual Veterinary Technician EXPO, industry conferences and roundtable discussions will be delivered online through streaming media broadcasts.  Extensive research resources will also be available through the VetExchange Web site. (PRNewswire)

> and today announced a strategic alliance to add a line of gourmet pet gifts from to’s Website. Providing a new category for, the gourmet pet treats are available in nine gifts. The agreement allows to expand into the growing pet gifting market while providing with a new venue to reach an audience beyond its traditional Website base.  (Business Wire)

>  A May 2000 Neilsen/NetRatings poll of 57,000 home internet users has found that has the largest unique audience of the online pet stores, with a close second.  (ZDNet)

>  Atlanta, an apartment rich city full of devoted pet-owners, has been chosen as the launch site for, a new online company that provides innovative solutions for protecting rental property from pet damage. The company is a part of the real estate services market. It will sell pet deposit warranties to apartment owners and managers, as well as to pet owners who lease housing. These warranties will protect a landlord from potential pet damage for up to $5,000 per unit.  (Business Wire)


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Animal Health News

> Infigen, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company, announced that the company had been awarded a fundamental U.S. patent which covered critical processes for cloning any mammal utilizing nuclear transfer (NT) technology. The patent covers essential steps for the activation of a cloned cell, the final stage of a process that enables a fully-grown mammal, such as a calf or lamb, to be grown from a single cell. The award affords Infigen a controlling position in all potential uses of NT-related cloning of mammalian cells, including livestock such as cattle and pigs, for all agricultural and human health applications worldwide. (PRNewswire)

>  The Land O’Lakes Foundation today presented a $75,000 check to the University of California, Davis.  The check is the first installment in a $150,000 grant to help finance the new California Dairy Technology Center.  The California Dairy Technology Center combines efforts of Tulare Joint Union High School, the College of the Sequoias and the University of California, Davis Veterinary School.  It will maintain a 1,000-cow dairy to meet the specific training need of participating educational programs. (PRNewswire)

>  Kala Health announces the launch of ARTHRIX for dogs and cats.  ARTHRIX is the first pet nutraceutical that combines the painkiller MSM with a powerful anti-inflammatory product extracted from wild nutmeg.  ARTHRIX also contains glucosamine sulfate used widely by veterinarians to treat arthritis and trace minerals essential for healthy cell functioning.  ARTHRIX comes as chewable tablets with natural flavors to make it a treat for dogs and cats alike. (PRNewswire)

>  Horse owners who transport their animals internationally for equestrian competitions may soon have an easier time ensuring their horses are healthy, thanks to new, faster tests for piroplasmosis.  The United States is free of this tick-borne disease, also known as equine babesiosis. To keep the disease from infecting American animals, horses transported here for races, shows and other competitions must be certified free of the disease, and American horses sent abroad must be tested before returning.  The new tests rely on molecular techniques that give more accurate results. ARS and Washington State University, which collaborated on the research, have applied for patents. VMRD, a Pullman company that produces diagnostic test kits, plans to sell the tests under a patent license within the next 5 years. (AnimalNet – ARS News Service)

>  A cloned cow gave birth to a calf conceived by artificial insemination at a research center in northwestern Japan on Monday, showing that cloned cows can reproduce. The newborn, a female weighing 58.3 pounds, is the world’s first reported example of a calf being born to a cloned cow.  Dolly the sheep, the first mammal cloned from an adult cell in 1996, was the first to prove that clones can breed normally and produce healthy offspring. (AP)

Agribusiness News

>  Brazilian farmers who are angry about their government’s ban on imports of genetically-modified (GM) food have given away 20,000 chickens in protest. They distributed the chickens in Recife to express their disapproval of Brazil’s ban on growing or importing GM crops, including corn and soybeans.  The president of the state poultry farmers’ association stated that farmers are having a hard time getting corn to the feed the chickens.  Analysts predict that Brazil will have to purchase at least two million tons of corn this year. Much of the grain will likely come from neighboring Argentina, where GM crops are common. (AgWeb)

News from Brakke Consulting – Japan

Japanese flea and tick market observations

The Brakke Consulting office in Japan reports that a local industry analyst believes total sales of flea and tick products in dogs and cats has increased by 12% to Yen 4,336 million ($39 million) in 2000.  Brakke Consulting believes total sales of these products will be increased by about 10% to Yen 4,770 ($43 million) in 2000 for the full year.  Frontline will maintain the leading position in the market.  Advantage will be number two, followed by Program.  Program has been sold in 2000 by Novartis Agro Co, a Japanese subsidiary.  Sales were switched from Sankyo to Novartis in January 2000.  Novartis Agro obtained an import approval of Capstar (nitenpyram) in February 2000 and launched this product named Program A Tablets in June 2000.  Sankyo has launched Systec (milbemycin oxime + lufenuron) in May 1999 and concentrated its marketing substituting for Program.  Pfizer has obtained a Revolution registration in May 2000 and may launch the product in the latter half of this year.

[Dr Atsuo Hata – Brakke Consulting Japan]

For more information on the Japanese animal health markets, please contact Dr. Hata at:

Information on the US flea & tick market is available in Brakke Consulting’s annually updated syndicated study “Changes in the US Flea Control Market.”  For more information, contact Dr. Lynn Fondon at <>

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

We’re in the middle of summer and the flea season in most parts of the world.  The new flea and tick products and technologies that have been introduced the past 5 years have had a dramatic impact on the animal health industry.  Depending on your company’s position, you may have benefited or suffered because of these new products.  Now the chess game for market share moves into full gear over the next few years.  The announcement by the leading OTC brand of pet products, Hartz Mountain, that they have retained JP Morgan to explore various options for the business makes one wonder if this is an opportunity for one of the leading veterinary-only brands of flea products to move into the OTC market.  

We hope you’re staying cool in your part of the world.  Please provide Dr. Fondon (see email address above) in our Dallas office with any questions you’d like to see answered in Brakke Consulting’s Flea and Tick Study for 2000.

 [Ron Brakke]
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