The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for July 7, 2000

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company Earnings Releases

Company News Releases

>  Merial, in partnership with the veterinary diagnostics company Synbiotics and the University of Bristol, UK, has opened one of the first laboratories in the world to use the most advanced DNA testing methods to identify microbes transmitted by ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and other arthropods as part of a diagnostic and research service for veterinarians.  The group stressed the importance of improving knowledge about the prevalence, epidemiology and disease potential for arthropod-transmitted infections in Europe, particularly with regard to multi-infections.  (Animal Pharm)

>  Heska Corporation announced that it has launched its new Web site.  The new site was created to expand Heska’s on-line presence to include e-commerce capabilities targeted at veterinarians for instant access to Heska’s broad range of companion animal health products.
The newly designed Web site was created primarily for three audiences: customers in the veterinary market, companion animal enthusiasts seeking selected animal health information and those interested in general corporate information. (PRNewswire)

>  Roche and Novo Nordisk have agreed to a global strategic alliance for enzymes for animal feed. Within this alliance Novo Nordisk will provide its know-how in basic research, product development and production, while Roche will contribute its expertise in application development, marketing and sales as well as its international presence. Roche will distribute the alliance¹s feed enzymes in most of the world. The agreement, which will be effective from January 2001, is an extension of existing collaboration between the two companies. (AnimalNet – Genetic Engineering News)

> The FDA has approved a new animal drug application (NADA) filed by Alpharma, Inc, which provides for use of approved bacitracin and fenbendazole Type A medicated articles to make combination Type B and C medicated feeds for growing and finishing swine and pregnant sows.  The product is indicated for the removal of various internal parasites, for increased rate of weight gain and improved feed efficiency, for control of swine dysentery associated with Treponema hyodysenteriae, and for control of clostridial enteritis in suckling pigs caused by Clostridium perfringens.  (AnimalNet – Federal Register)

>  Central Garden & Pet Company announced that its previously disclosed disputes with The Scotts Company and Pharmacia Corporation (formerly known as Monsanto Company) have resulted in litigation.  Scotts filed suit against Central to collect the purchase price of certain lawn and garden products previously sold to Central, withheld on the basis of claims Central has against Scotts.  Pharmacia filed suit against Central seeking an accounting and unspecified amounts allegedly due Pharmacia under the four-year alliance agreement between Central and Pharmacia which expired in September 1999, as well as damages for breach of contract.     Central believes that the reconciliation of all accounts will not result in a balance due from Central to Pharmacia. Central intends to vigorously contest both suits. (Business Wire)

>  Webb Interactive Services announced a licensing agreement of the AccelX commerce solution with, a comprehensive B2B portal targeting veterinary clinics and animal hospitals worldwide.  VetConnect Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Idexx Laboratories, Inc. is licensing AccelX commerce solutions to launch a B2B portal targeted at veterinary clinics and animal hospitals to facilitate the information flow and build e-relationships between veterinarians, their customers and suppliers. (PRNewswire)


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Animal Health News

>  The FDA has announced the availability of effectiveness, target animal safety, and human food safety data that may be used in support of a new animal drug application (NADA) or supplemental NADA for veterinary prescription use of ceftiofur sodium injection for treatment of bacterial pneumonia in goats. The data were compiled under a national agricultural research program for obtaining clearances for use of new drugs in minor animal species and for special uses. (AnimalNet- Federal Register)

>  Dairy producers dumped more than 500,000 pounds of milk on July 4 during their protest against low milk prices. Milk strike leaders say they now plan to take their efforts to Congress and may take action again around Labor Day if the July 4 milk dump proves ineffective.  Hundreds of dairy farmers from at least 11 states participated in the strike. Many producers agreed that dumping the milk was a tough, but critical, decision.  Protest leaders also want to establish a mandatory supply management system that will consider farmers’ costs of production when setting milk prices. (AgWeb)

>  According to the Xinhua reporting agency, Chinese scientists have begun work on decoding the pig genome.  Mapping the pig’s genetic code will help China develop new breeds and contribute to a more efficient Chinese pig-raising industry.  Pork is the major source of animal protein in the Chinese diet, and China has the largest pork production output in the world. (E-markets – Agence France Presse)

>  The general director of food at the French ministry stated  that the number of French cases of mad cow disease (BSE) will certainly rise as a new testing program for the fatal brain-wasting
illness unfolds.  The ministry last month began testing 48,000 French cattle to try to measure
the extent of BSE among its 21 million animals and see if additional safety measures were necessary. (Reuters)

>  Fears of a new food scare in the UK were being played down after a cow born after the introduction of controls to eradicate BSE was found to be suffering from the disease. The UK Government has ordered a special investigation into how the cow caught the disease amid fears it could have been passed on by the animal¹s mother – a method of transmission not previously proved. The Holstein cow, born on August 25 1996, is significant because it was born after August 1 1996, when extra control measures on animal feed containing mammalian meat and bone meal were implemented. The mother of the cow had not been identified as a suspected BSE victim.  (AnimalNet – PA News)

>  At the April session of the European Parliament, MEPs voted to endorse proposals for an EU-wide compulsory identification system for cows and the labelling of beef and beef products. Among the amendments adopted was one that would require the labels to simply indicate the member state or third country of origin of the meat, rather than the precise region of origin. A further amendment would remove the derogations being proposed for minced beef, beef trimmings and cut beef. Another amendment would strengthen the provisions ensuring that the same labelling rules should apply to beef from third countries.  (EP The Week)

Agribusiness News

>  American Home Products Corporation announced that it has completed the previously announced sale of its Cyanamid Agricultural Products business to BASF Aktiengesellschaft except in certain countries where regulatory clearances are pending.  Under the agreement, AHP received $3.8 billion in cash from BASF and certain debt was also assumed by BASF.  (PRNewswire)

>  The area planted with genetically engineered (GE) crops worldwide jumped to 39.9 million hectares in 1999, an increase of 44%, according to a new brief by the International Service for the
Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA).  Today’s 39.9 million hectares of GE crops is up more than twenty fold from the 1.7 million hectares planted in 1996. The ISAAA says
this adoption rate is the highest for any new technology by agricultural industry standards.
Twelve countries grew GE crops in 1999.  28.7 million hectares were planted in the US, an increase of 8% over 1998.  GE soybean and corn continued to be the biggest GE crops. (Pesticide Action Network North America)

>  According to a USDA survey, farmers planted less genetically engineered corn this year, but biotech varieties of cotton and soybeans are as popular as ever.  Farmers are planting 19.9 million acres of gene-altered corn this year, down from about 25 million acres last year. Plantings of biotech cotton, a crop that’s grown for both fiber and vegetable oil, are up sharply this year; an estimated 61% of this year’s crop, or about 9.5 million acres, is genetically engineered, compared to 8.2 million acres last year, or 55% of the 1999 crop. About 40.2 million acres of genetically engineered soybeans have been planted this year, or 54% of the total crop. (AP)
>  A new study conducted by Ernst & Young concludes the relatively new biotech industry has provided significant contribution to the overall U.S. economy. The study, commissioned by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) reveals that in 1999, the combined direct, indirect and induced activities of the biotechnology industry contributed a total of 437,400 jobs and $47 billion in business revenues to the U.S. economy. Regarding agricultural biotech, the report states this sector of the industry generated 21,900 jobs and about $2.3 billion in revenues, including the contributions of companies supplying inputs to the industry or goods and services to employees. (AgWeb)

News from Brakke Consulting – Japan

Japanese animal health business forecast in 2000

* Economic condition: The general economics of Japan and Asian countries will improve in 2000 after depression for the past several years.  This should have a positive impact on the animal health industry in this region.

* New product approvals: Japanese MAFF has approved 21 new animal drugs [12 biologicals, 3 antimicrobials, 6 pharmaceuticals] in fiscal 1998 ended March 31, 1999 and 28 new animal drugs [16 biologicals, one antibiotics, 11 pharmaceuticals] in fiscal 1999 ended March 31, 2000. Most of these products will enter the Japanese market in 2000.

* Several multinational animal health companies are strengthening their Japanese sales forces, while the local animal health companies seem to be contracting.  As an example, Takeda -Schering Plough Animal Health began its business operations in the Japanese market on July 1, 2000.  Small animal veterinarian numbers are rising substantially, while large animal veterinarian numbers are on the decline.  The companion animal market in Japan continues to grow at a rate exceeding 10% per year.

[Dr Atsuo Hata – Brakke Consulting Japan]

To contact Dr. Hata for more information on Brakke Consulting’s services in Japan, email at


Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

We all need to watch closely the actual acres being planted with GE crops in the US in 2000.  This has been the target of environmentalists and other groups.  We believe that genetically modified seeds will continue to take a growing share of the acres planted over the next few years.

The animal health industry is developing several new genetic modification technologies in the vaccine and genetics areas.  What occurs in crop agriculture may well impact the animal industry. 

Keep your eye on actual consumer reactions and market results versus the “talk show” volume.  Every chance you get, please help educate your friends and the general public regarding the true benefits and risks of this new scientific realm.  It is only by educating consumers that our industries will be able to compete effectively against those with an “anti-biotechnology” agenda.

 [Ron Brakke]
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