The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for May 26, 2000

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company Earnings Releases

>  Aventis Agriculture, which consolidates Aventis CropScience and Aventis Animal Nutrition, reported total sales of 1,207 million euro in the first quarter, a decline of 6.4 % compared with the first quarter of 1999.  Sales by the animal health business Merial, a 50:50 joint venture with Merck & Co. Inc., are not included.  (

>  Synbiotics Corp. announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2000.  Revenue for the first quarter was $9.2 million, compared with revenue of $9.5 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 1999.   Net loss for the first quarter was ($834,000), compared with net income of $706,000 for the prior year quarter. The company stated they are transitioning from distribution to direct sales.  (Business Wire)

>  PETsMART, Inc. announced financial results for its fiscal 2000 first quarter, the thirteen weeks ended April 30, 2000.  The Company reported operating net income in the first quarter of 2000 of $3.1 million, excluding a non-operating loss from its equity investment in  Net sales for the first quarter were $534.0 million, an increase of 4.1 percent over the $512.9 million reported for the same period last year. (Business Wire)

>  Oil-Dri Corporation of America announced sales of $42.8 million for the third quarter ended April 30, 2000, up slightly from last year’s sales of $42.4 million.  Paper cat litter sales and market share were up in the mass merchandiser segment.  Total agricultural product sales were up 2% in the quarter.  Sales of animal health and nutrition products and clay granules used in turf and ornamental applications were up 13% in the period.  (PRNewswire)

Company News Releases

> Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Schein Pharmaceutical, Inc. announced the companies have entered into a definitive agreement under which Watson will acquire all of the outstanding stock of Schein through a two-step transaction comprised of a cash tender followed by a taxable stock merger.  Both Watson and Schein are developers, manufacturers and marketers of generic and branded pharmaceutical products, utilizing various drug delivery technologies. (PRNewswire)

>  Synbiotics Corporation announced that W3COMMERCE, its Internet marketing services subsidiary, has signed an alliance agreement with The Capsule Report, a leading provider of summarized medical information for veterinarians. The agreement calls for The Capsule Report to provide information from its database of over 13,000 articles, for current and future use within W3COMMERCE’s growing number of sponsored information and client e-commerce sites in the pet and animal health market. (BW HealthWire)

> has enhanced its animal health and productivity offering.  The Virtual Livestock Advisor was launched last week.  Producers submit livestock related questions on the website and receive a prompt email response such as a simple answer, referral or request for more detailed information to help them get quality answers.  (Company Press Release)

>  Novartis Seeds AG has reached a key stage of development in a new process which could eliminate part of the controversy over use of genetically-modified (GM) food crops. The technology involves a new type of “genetic marker.”  The trademark technology, called Positech, is being tested on maize, wheat, barley, sugar beet and vegetables.  (Reuters)

>, parent company of VetMall, announced it has applied for listing on the NASDAQ National Market System., Inc. is an internet business-to-business trade exchange for pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter products, health and beauty aids and nutritional supplements. (Business Wire)

>  ABAXIS, Inc. has retained RCG Capital Markets Group, Inc. to implement and maintain a proactive national investor relations program.  RCG will build a heightened level of awareness within the professional investment community for ABAXIS, Inc. and its opportunity as it develops products for the veterinary and selected medical markets. (PRNewswire)

>  VetExchange announced the closing of a $2.25 million round of Series B financing from private and angel investors.  The company will use the funds to expand its national marketing and sales campaign; improve system infrastructure and support; further enhance and develop its Web site; and recruit and hire additional management talent.  (PRNewswire)

>  BASF announced a new organization of the future business that will integrate the Cyanamid division of the American Home Products Corporation.  Pending regulatory approvals, the global headquarters will be moved to Mount Olive, New Jersey. The headquarters will comprise the Strategic Marketing and the Global Supply Chain units as well as the staff functions such as Global Human Resources, Controlling, Information Technology and Communications.  The worldwide business will be directed through five regional organizations:  The European and the Middle East/Africa/CIS leadership will be based in Germany. The North American business unit will be based in North Carolina, USA.  The Latin American business unit will be based in Mount Olive, New Jersey, USA.  The Asian business unit will be based in Singapore. (Business Wire)

>  BASF AG, The world’s second largest chemical manufacturer  after DuPont Co., announced the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had approved its request to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange June 7. (AP)

>, Inc. announced it had engaged Ryan, Beck & Co., an investment banking firm, to study the Company’s capital requirements, assist in mergers, acquisitions and strategic relationships, and help develop its over-all strategic plan.  (Business Wire)

>  OmegaTech, Inc., a bioscience innovator in research and development of nutritional ingredients and foods, announced the completion of a $22 million private placement of common stock.  (Company Press Release)

>  Bio-Enhancement Systems Corporation (BESCORP) announced the successful completion of a Distribution Agreement with Labiana Life Sciences, S.A.,  headquartered in Terrasa, Spain.  Under the terms of the Distribution Agreement with BESCORP, Labiana will act as the exclusive distributor of BESCORP’s Animal Behavior Modifier (ABM)(R) product in the territories of Spain and Portugal.  The ABM(R) is a device engineered to naturally enhance the weight gain of beef cattle and the milk production of dairy cattle without the use of steroids or growth hormones.  In a related announcement, BESCORP today stated that Labiana Life Sciences has been awarded a prize for the best new innovation in animal health technologies from the XIV Concurso de Innovacion Tecnologica (14th Meeting of Innovation Technologies), held in Galicia, Spain.






Animal Health News

> launched its new on-line ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) breed guides.  This site features comprehensive information and images on over 150 dog breeds as well as 50 cat breeds.  The site showcases various types of mixed-breed dogs, and serves as both an educational and informational tool to help reduce the growing number of animals brought to shelters each year by people who have chosen a pet that is incompatible with their lifestyle.  (Animal Net)

>  A gathering of 3,000 veterinary specialists from across the country, who treat life-threatening diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes will convene in Seattle for the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine’s 18th Annual Veterinary Medical Forum,  May 25 – May 28, 2000 at the Washington State Convention Center.  (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine)

>  A maker of pig ear treats for dogs is recalling packages of the product in 11 Western states because of suspected contamination with a bacteria that could sicken pet owners. The recalled dog treats were made by Treat Makers L.L.C. and sold at Costco stores. The company agreed to recall the dog treats after Costco tests found some samples contaminated with salmonella.  (Reuters)

>  Feeding pets a high-quality diet can decrease non-seasonal shedding by as much as 50 to 90 percent, reported Dr. Gary Davenport, a researcher from The Iams Company.  The findings, along with other pet-nutrition studies, were presented at the 2000 Iams Nutrition Symposium to more than 400 companion animal experts from 42 countries.  The event represented the world’s largest gathering of influencers and thought leaders in canine and feline nutrition.  Attendees at The Symposium represented 80 universities, 136 animal hospitals, clinics, and referral practices, and two zoos.  (PRNewswire)

Agribusiness News

>  AstraZeneca P.L.C. obtained technology to develop a genetically engineered rice that could help boost the level of Vitamin A in people who eat it.  The rice could be one of the first foods genetically engineered to benefit the consumer; crops so far have been altered to fight pests, weeds and disease. The company said the vitamin-rich rice would be made available first in Asia, Africa and South America, where children suffer from malnutrition. (Bloomberg News)

>  The European Commission continued their ban on U.S. hormone-treated beef, citing an EU scientific panel assertion that some growth hormones used in the cattle are a health risk to humans and bear out EU concerns that such hormones can promote cancer.  (UPI)

>  Japan’s Agriculture Ministry stated that the Paris-based Office International des Epizooties (OIE) has called an emergency meeting in Tokyo next month to discuss the recent outbreak of deadly foot-and-mouth disease in Japan and other parts of East Asia.  The OIE sets international standards to help prevent livestock diseases and facilitate trade in the industry.  (Animal Net – Reuters)

>  The government in Brussels Belgium shut down 200 farms this week to investigate fodder that was contaminated with cancer-causing PCB.  The pollution was 925 times above the legal limit.  So far there are no indications contaminated meat has reached consumers.  (AP)


>  Twelve major chemical companies across the world agreed to create a new business-to-businesss e-commerce company that will serve as an online marketplace for the chemicals industry.  France’s Atofina; Germany’s BASF AG; Germany’s Bayer AG; U.K.’s BP Amoco Plc; U.S.’s Dow Chemicals Co.; U.S.’s DuPont Co.; Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals; Japan’s Mitsubishi Chemicals; France’s Rhodia SA; U.S.’s Rohm and Haas Co.; Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd.; and the U.S.’s Van Waters & Rogers are involved in the deal.  The new company will offer an online marketplace that will address supply chain inefficiencies and offer services for buying and selling basic, intermediate, specialty and fine chemicals, according to a joint press release.  (Reuters)

>  In an effort to combat misinformation and help ensure that genetically engineered crops get a fair hearing in public debate, a newly formed Council for Biotechnology Information kicked off a three- to five-year public information program in the U.S. and Canada.  A pledge of $50 million from the council’s seven founding members is funding a communications program that includes grassroots local programs, a Web site, a toll-free information line, brochures, and national television, magazine and newspaper advertising. Aventis CropScience (formerly AgrEvo and Rhone-Poulenc), BASF, Dow AgroSciences, Dupont, Monsanto, Novartis, Zeneca Ag Products and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) formed this coalition to provide information — based on scientific research, expert opinion and published reports — to the public about the potential benefits of the technology. (Farm Industry News)

Brakke Consulting, Inc. Technology Review

How does technology fit into your company’s business strategy?  What is your system for finding new technologies?  Do you have management processes developed to assist in determining when to abandon R&D projects?  Who drives the management of technology and product development in your company?  When and how do you transfer the right information to process development and manufacture?  Have you ever benchmarked your technology development activities against your industry competition.

Brakke Consulting can review and audit your current processes in these and related areas to help you become more competitive in technology development.  Call John Short at 828-236-0585 or our Dallas office for more details.

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

Most of the news this week is from the dot com companies who need to keep the business concept or model in front of the shareholders, financial community, potential customers, and suppliers.  It appears to us that the clash or melding of the dot com companies and the more traditional companies is starting to emerge.  The B to C pet and vet portion is consolidating rapidly.  The B to B in pet and vet is the current rage in order to obtain funding.  We believe there will be an increased interest in clicks and bricks in the next few months.  Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.

[Ron Brakke]
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