The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 23, 2000

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company Earnings Releases

>  Ag Services of America, Inc. reported revenues for the three months ending May 31, 2000 increased 17% to $155.8 million from $132.9 million during the comparable quarter last year.  Net earnings increased 2% to $3.13 million compared to $3.08 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2001.  (PRNewswire)

Company News Releases

>  Pfizer Inc said the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) accepted a consent decree clearing the way for the company’s merger with Warner-Lambert.  The merger was completed.  (PRNewswire)

>  Synbiotics Corporation has retained two investment banking firms to advise the company on exploring strategic alternatives for enhancing shareholder value, which may include the sale of the Synbiotics Animal Health business.  Synbiotics also said that its previously announced plans for creating a holding company and changing its name to W3 Inc. will be deferred, pending the outcome of this strategic initiative.  (BW HealthWire)

> Alpharma, Inc. has filed a Shelf Registration Statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission which, when effective, would permit the Company to sell up to $500 million in debt and equity securities in one or more public transactions. (PRNewswire)

> Alpharma, Inc announced that its International Pharmaceutical Division (IPD) has taken an initial equity ownership position of 20% in Ltd, a newly created European pharmaceutical e-commerce business. will be the first e-commerce company to target the complete pharmaceutical supply chain, connecting manufacturers, wholesalers and eventually retail and hospital pharmacies on a pan-European basis. (PRNewswire)

>  FreeMarkets, Inc. has signed a contract with Schering-Plough Corporation, to provide the company with access to its B2B eMarketplace for global purchasing.  FreeMarkets will serve Schering-Plough through its Market Operations Centers in both Pittsburgh and Brussels.  (Business Wire)

>  Cross Atlantic Technology Fund, L.P. has closed a $2.5 million investment in offers pet owners a specialized range of pet related services, including a broad selection of pet food and accessories, information and expert advice from veterinarians and animal behaviorists.  (PRNewswire)

>  The Hartz Mountain Corp. has licensed Formation Systems’ Optiva product development software to accelerate and modernize its new product development processes.  (PRNewsire)

>, Inc. launched its PetVantage Network, a national multi-channel pet club for consumers, in a strategic alliance with Protective Marketing Enterprises, Inc.  Under the three-year exclusive agreement, Protective Marketing Enterprises will offer the PetVantage Network through marketing alliances with well-known companies and retailers with large consumer databases.  Protective Marketing Enterprises, Inc. specializes in direct marketing through joint marketing agreements with financial institutions, retailers and other companies with strong brand identity and large customer databases.  (Business Wire)

>  Innovative Medical Services expects to begin national distribution of its Nutripure® Veterinary product line in July.  Nutripure Veterinary products contain the proprietary, non-toxic ingredient Axen.  (BW HealthWire)

> IVAX Corporation has acquired Laboratorios Elmor S.A., located in Caracas, Venezuela, which manufactures, markets, and distributes a broad range of pharmaceutical products. The company is the second largest Venezuelan pharmaceutical company in terms of units sold, and one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in the country, with revenues having exceeded $40 million in 1999. The terms of the purchase were not disclosed.  (Business Wire)

>  BioChem Pharma Inc. entered into a development and license agreement with Cytovax Biotechnologies Inc. to further develop a vaccine, currently in late-stage preclinical development, to prevent infections caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa.  (Genetic Engineering News)

>  Neurogen Corp. signed a licensing agreement with Pfizer Inc. for the development of Neurogen’s drug candidates to treat obesity in companion animals. (Genetic Engineering News)

> has partnered with Tamar Geller, of The Loved Dog Company.  Geller is known for perfecting a unique dog training style that focuses on loving guidance rather than
physical force.  In the partnership, Geller shares personal accounts of her training experiences, for both entertainment and education targeting canine aficionados who visit the online community to learn about pet care. (Company Press Release)

>  Aventis Pasteur announced that the Virogenetics Corporation facility in Troy, NY, will be closed by the end of the year. The announcement follows a decision made this morning by the Board of Directors.  (PRNewswire)

Animal Health News

>  According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the Animal Planet, a Discovery Channel spinoff, is growing faster than any other cable outlet. Launched in October 1996, Animal Planet now attracts over 60 million subscribers.  (AP)

>  According  to a new e-Visory Report released by leading marketing information provider The NPD Group, Inc. and Media Metrix,  75% of pet owners who access the Internet are aware of online pet stores, up from 55% in September 1999. Twenty-seven percent have shopped at an online pet store, while 14% made an actual purchase at an online pet store.  Among the 14% who have purchased, a whopping 97% of them are satisfied with their buying experience. Media Metrix reported that had the highest number of unique visitors among pet store sites in March of 2000.  (Business Wire)

>  The National Zoo’s chief veterinarian, Lucy M. Spelman, was named on Monday to head the zoo and help bring two young giant pandas from China.  Spelman, 37, said she hopes to continue helping train veterinarians. Last December she was one of 13 instructors from around the world who took part in a workshop on conservation and breeding for 47 Chinese veterinarians.  (AP)

Agribusiness News

>  The U.S. Agriculture Department’s food safety agency needs to step up its laboratory testing, target high-risk meat and poultry companies and tighten other rules to better protect American consumers from food borne disease, according to a U.S. government investigation.  (Reuters)

> Zeneca Agrochemicals plans to divest its worldwide acetochlor corn herbicide business to address the concerns of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the European commission (EC) in connection with the proposed formation of Syngenta.  Syngenta AG will be formed from the planned spin-off and merger of Zeneca Agrochemicals, the crop protection business of AstraZeneca, and Novartis’ crop protection and seeds businesses.  (Business Wire)

>  ProLinia, Inc., a Georgia based agricultural biotech genetics supplier, and Smithfield Foods, a Virginia based hog producer and processor, have entered into a technology development agreement.  The companies will commercialize ProLinia’s cloning technology by arranging for ProLinia to provided cloned embryos from Smithfield’s genetics for implantation into sows for gestation.  (Company Press Release)

>  Two of the biggest names in US retailing, Kroger and Wal-Mart, plan to begin using “retail-ready” or “case-ready” beef that arrives at the store in prepared packages, already trimmed, weighed and wrapped for the display case. (The Wichita Eagle)

>  Express Services Inc., the owner of Express Ranches, based in Yukon, Okla., is expanding to offer global franchising of its Limousin cattle operations.   (PRNewswire)

> Northern Light Technology, Inc., introduced a comprehensive Web site devoted to the subject of genetically modified foods.  The Northern Light Special Edition™, located at, provides links to information available electronically from several different perspectives on this much-debated topic.  The Special Edition includes links to sites that are opposed to genetically modified foods as well as to sites that support the use of bio-engineered foods.   It also provides links to leading genetically modified food companies. (PRNewswire)

>  A herd of 54 cattle were destroyed in France after the discovery of a new case of “mad cow’’ disease.  The new outbreak brought to 21 the number of cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) reported in France this year.  (Reuters)

>  The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has called for developed countries to reach a consensus on common risk assessment rules for genetically modified (GM) foods and feeds.  The OECD has endorsed agricultural biotechnology after conducting an assessment to determine if food produced through biotechnology is as safe as other foods.  (Kyodo News)

>  Burcon NutraScience Corporation has completed an important animal feeding study for its
Canadian regulatory submission for the use of its canola protein isolate as a food ingredient.  Burcon, using a patented extraction process, is developing the world’s first commercial canola protein. Canola, the world’s second largest oilseed crop, has long been recognized as a large
potential source of untapped botanical protein. (Animal Net)

>  BioNet Technologies, Inc. and Immune Technologies announced that I-MOD ER™, Immune Technologies’ immunomodulator for equine respiratory diseases, continues to move forward in pre-licensing.  The USDA has received the field trial results for I-MOD ER™ and has requested Immune Technologies to submit the Master Seed and to prepare and submit three pre-licensing serials (lots) of I-MOD ER™. Manufacturing will begin immediately, quality control performed and serials submitted to the USDA for testing. (Business Wire)

>  Bunge International Limited has sold its fifty percent shareholding in KMP Bunge, the Singaporean and Indonesian integrated pork pro partner, The KMP Group of Singapore.  The divestiture represents the latest in a line of strategic moves by Bunge. (Business Wire)

Technology Transfer

Brakke Consulting, Inc. continues to be contacted by companies not currently participating in the animal health industry with new technologies or services.  Most of these contacts are referred by our clients.  Technology transfer and identification has been one of our leading service areas for many years.  Please be sure that one or more of our consultants know of your company’s technology needs.  We’ll continue to be aggressive in uncovering new technology for the industry.

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

The news this week did not create any stimulating thoughts. So I decided to leave early in search of the best price on “fire works” as July the 4th, here in the US, approaches.  It appears that the industry needs a fuse or two lit so that we will have more news to report.  Thanks for your continued loyal readership.  The BCI News & Notes distribution grows every week.

[Ron Brakke]
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