The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for May 5, 2000

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company Earnings Releases

>  Bayer AG reported that first quarter 2000 sales for the agriculture business segment had a good quarter, with sales up 17% to € 1.025 billion ($985 million). The Crop Protection and Animal Health business groups contributed equally to this growth. The Animal Health Business Group scored further market success with its flagship product Advantage. (company website)

>  Aventis reported that first quarter 2000 sales of Aventis Animal Nutrition achieved a significant volume increase during the first quarter. However, its sales declined 3% to € 138 million ($133 million) due to price weakness. Prices, which dropped significantly in the second half of 1999, are now stabilizing and even recovering for methionine. (PRNewswire)

>  Aventis did not report Merial first quarter 2000 sales, but avermectin sales were € 104 million ($100 million), essentially flat compared to the first quarter 1999.  Animal health fipronil sales were € 69 million ($66 million), an increase of 50% over the same quarter in 1999. (PRNewswire)

>  Central Garden & Pet Company announced financial results for the fiscal second quarter ended March 25, 2000.  Net sales for the fiscal second quarter were $382.9 million, compared with $447.1 million in the comparable 1999 period. The decrease in net sales principally reflects the previously announced expiration of the Solaris alliance. Net income for the fiscal second quarter was $12.1 million compared with net income of $15.5 million in the comparable 1999 quarter. (Business Wire)

Company News Releases

>  Roche Vitamins has received FDA approval to market Ronozyme P, a new phytase enzyme used in swine and poultry feeds to improve the digestibility of phosphorus.  The new product is the result of a joint development between Roche and Novo Nordisk, who will manufacture the product.  Ronozyme P reduces the need for phosphorus supplementation and leads to a reduction in phosphorus excretion into the environment. (Feedstuffs)

>  Bayer recently launched an extensive animal health web site that provides veterinarians, poultry and livestock producers, in addition to horse and pet owners, with animal health and product information. The comprehensive site can be accessed on the Internet at . The web site contains seven major sections devoted to animal health consumers.  (AnimalNet – The Ontario Farmer Daily)

>  Hartz Mountain Corporation launched a new line of products under the brand name Flea Control Capsules and  Advanced Care Brand Flea and Tick Drops.  Advanced Care Brand Flea and Tick Drops incorporates an exclusive, patented adulticide (d-phenothrin) to kill adult fleas, many types of ticks and mosquitoes as well as an ovacide (s-methoprene) to prevent flea eggs from hatching to break the flea life cycle.  The Flea and Tick Drops are available in formulas for both dogs and cats.  The Flea Control Capsules, available for dogs only, are available in a capsule that is fed weekly to control fleas and prevent reinfestation.  (PRNewswire)

>  Central Garden & Pet announced the launch of their new flea control capsule for dogs, Zodiac FleaTrol Flea Caps.  The once-a-week orally administered capsules contain s-methoprene, an insect growth regulator. (company press release)

>  Natural Choice Odor Control, a revolutionary new product that reduces cat stool odor by 50% or more, has been introduced by Nutro Products Inc.     The marked reduction in stool odor is made possible by Nutro’s new OdorCheck System, utilizing a special formulation of natural premium ingredients. Nutro has applied for a patent on OdorCheck. (Business Wire)

> announced that it ranked third out of 100 e-tailers in order fulfillment, according to “Return to Sender,” an international study of the success factors of online order fulfillment and post-transaction communication, released today by Shelley Taylor & Associates.  The study benchmarked the e-commerce sites against 200 proprietary evaluation criteria used to analyze the content and activities that support online shopping through the check-out process, post-transaction communication, receipt and return of goods. The U.S. sites that ranked highest in order fulfillment include, Sports Authority,, Outpost, and (Business Wire)

Animal Health News

>  When researchers took a close look at the cells of Dolly, the cloned sheep, they found that her telomeres, the caps on the ends of the chromosomes, were shorter than normal. Because telomere length decreases with age, this was an indication that Dolly might age unusually quickly. But a physician and his colleagues report that cells from calves that they cloned have telomeres that are longer than normal. According to the researchers, the findings suggest that tissues produced by cloning might last at least as long as the original cells — and perhaps longer. (AnimalNet – Science)

>  The FDA has denied a citizen petition concerning Posilac, the FDA-approved recombinant bovine growth hormone (rbGH) product for increasing milk production in dairy cattle, that requested the rescinding of the approval and immediate removal of the product from the market based on “new evidence” that the product poses “serious health consequences for human consumers.” In response to the petition, FDA reported that it believed that these arguments did not demonstrate any human food safety issue related to the use of Posilac.  (AnimalNet – Feedstuffs)

Agribusiness News

>  The biopesticide industry has joined together to form a new coalition called the Biopesticide Industry Alliance (BPIA). The mission of the BPIA is to improve the global market perception of biopesticides as effective products and to facilitate the successful registration process of biopesticides.  Biopesticides (also known as biological pesticides) are products derived from such natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals.  At the end of 1998, there were approximately 175 registered biopesticide active ingredients and 700 products. (PRNewswire)

>  The US administration has stated that it would require seed companies to provide more data about the safety of new genetically modified crops.  The FDA will begin requiring companies to submit research results and data on GMO crops four months before marketing the foods.  This will replace the current voluntary system that has been in place for the past eight years.  The new initiative will also require the USDA oversee new scientific tests intended to detect the presence of genetically altered ingredients.  (E-markets – Knight Ridder)

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

The comments this week are being written from my hotel room in Germany, where I have spent a great four days visiting some of our European clients.  Thanks to all of them for their kindness and hospitality.  For those of you we’ll not see on this trip, hopefully we can catch you next time.  We’ll end the week with three days at Interzoo in Nuremberg, Germany.  This is probably the
largest OTC pet show in the world. 

As it relates to business this week in animal health, most of the leading companies in the industry are off to a good start in 2000.  The flea and tick market share wars are heating up around the world to the point that the fleas do not appear to have a fighting chance.  If all the product that is sitting in veterinary clinic inventory reaches the consumer, it will be a banner year.  This may be a good time for the managers in the industry to ask the Mother Nature or other higher powers for a good flea season. 
[Ron Brakke]
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