The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for December 15, 2000

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Company Earnings Releases

>  Biopure Corporation announced its financial results for the fourth fiscal quarter and fiscal year ended October 31, 2000.  Total revenues were $920,000 for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000, a 35% increase over the comparable period in 1999.  Sales for the fiscal year were $3.1 million, compared to $2.9 million in 1999.  The company reported a net loss of $6.8 million for the quarter, compared with a net loss of $10.0 million for the corresponding period in 1999.  The company reported a net loss of $36.1 million for the year, compared with a net loss of $35.5 million for the same period in 1999. (PRNewswire)

Company News Releases

>  Pharmacia Corporation, the company formed in the merger between Pharmacia & Upjohn and Monsanto, announced that its animal health business will bear the name Pharmacia Animal Health.  As part of a top tier pharmaceutical company, Pharmacia Animal Health will tap into the investment in research and development that Pharmacia makes each year. The Pharmacia Animal Health web site address will change to from Pharmacia & Upjohn Animal Health’s  Both the new address and the former address will be operational, maximizing convenience for customers using the company’s web site.

>  The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published an independent study the result of which suggested that Novartis’ Program (lufenuron) provides an effective, convenient, and rapid method for treating fungal infections in dogs and cats, including ringworm. (company press release)

>  Kansas State University is working to develop a vaccine to prevent liver abscesses in beef cattle.  The vaccine would be administered twice at two months apart, the first at the time of feedlot entry.  The university is collaborating with Schering-Plough on the vaccine development, which may be available by December 2001. (DVM Newsmagazine)

>  IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. announced that its IDEXX Veterinary Services, Inc. subsidiary has entered the digital radiography business through an agreement with Orex Computed Radiography Ltd.  Under this agreement, computed radiography products developed and manufactured by OREX will be sold in the veterinary market worldwide, exclusively by IDEXX. The computed radiography system to be sold by IDEXX eliminates the need for conventional film and chemical-based darkroom processing, and allows veterinarians to digitally store, enhance, and transmit images. The system, which IDEXX expects to introduce in early 2001, is the first affordable system customized for use by veterinarians. (Business Wire)

>  Hill’s Pet Nutrition Canada, Inc. is the second pet industry company to sign a marketing agreement with Anitech. Hill’s will pay Anitech a marketing fee to participate in Anitech’s new PetNet Partners Marketing Program that includes being a sponsor of the new PetNet Internet site. Bayer is already a PetNet Marketing Partner. (CCN)

>  ImmuCell Corp. announced the acquisition of MASTiK, Mastitis Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing Kit, from Lotek, Inc.  The company paid $35,000 on closing for the rights to this product and a related patent, and must pay another $40,000 by July 2001 to maintain ownership of the product.  The patented product helps veterinarians and producers quickly select the antibiotic most likely to be effective in the treatment of individual cases of mastitis, usually in less than one day. (Business Wire)

>  NBTY inc., a US manufacturer and retailer of nutritional supplements, announced that ownership of the Vet’s Health brand of pet products, formerly part of Feeling Fine, has been transferred to Total Nutrition, Inc.  Terms were not disclosed.  (PRNewswire)

> SPEQ Biovet Inc. and Biovet Inc. announced the filing of a final prospectus for an initial public offering in the province of Quebec. The proceeds from the IPO will serve to support Biovet’s expansion plan.  Biovet’s mission is to develop and commercialize biological products destined for the veterinary and agrifood sectors that enable the detection and prevention of the main pathogens affecting the food chain. (CNW)


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Animal Health News

> The Tufts Animal Expo, held October 10 – 13 in Boston, Massachusetts, reported over 4,000 attendees from all 50 states and 24 foreign countries.  Veterinarians led the attendance, but there were professionals representing all aspects of the animal care industry.  In addition, more than 50 human health professionals attended the conference. The 2001 conference will take place in Boston on October 10 – 13, 2001. (organization press release)

>  Japan’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry imposed a total ban on imports from the European Union of livestock feed made from animals to prevent an outbreak in Japan of mad cow disease.  The ministry has yet to decide on the duration of the ban, which was imposed on the recommendation of a panel of experts meeting earlier in the day. Japan imported some 162,000 tons of animal-based feed between January and October, of which roughly one-third, or 49,000 tons, was from the EU. Japan now bans imports of beef and meat-based cattle feed that are not heat-treated from countries hit by the brain-wasting illness, as well as heat-treated meat-based cattle feed from Britain. (Kyodo News)

Agribusiness News

>  An international research team announced that the complete genetic code of a plant has been deciphered. It is the third major chapter to be spelled out this year, coming after the decoding of the human genome in June and a fruitfly’s genome in March. Together, the studies are expected to foster sweeping changes in medicine, agriculture and environmental stewardship. The plant studied is a lowly weed of the mustard family — Arabidopsis thaliana. The plant is widely studied because it is easy to cultivate indoors and it grows from a seed to a mature plant in about six weeks. The upshot could be more genetic engineering of crops, but it also will accelerate more traditional research.  Because A. thaliana is closely related to canola, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and cabbage, its genetic profile is readily applicable to research into those plants. Its genome also can shed light on more distant relatives, because plants, like animals, share many genetic similarities. (E-markets – Star Tribune Company)

Brakke Consulting Viewpoint
The news for the week had several announcements related to rather small licensing, marketing or financing activities of various firms.   It is not obvious where the new products with sales in excess of $50 million per year are going to come from in 2001.  As we prepare our 2001 Animal  Health Industry, it becomes more obvious that next year is going to be a challenging for several firms.  How will Animal Health Companies grow at the rate of their parent companies, in both the top and bottom line? 

The BSE problem in Europe is going to present a sales volume problem for all those companies operating in the European bovine market. If the BSE problem moves to other parts of the world it could be disastrous for the industry.  Has the industry prepared its “Crisis Management Program”?

Have a great weekend and make sure you purchase a Christmas present for your favorite consultant or, even better, make a donation to a worthwhile charity.  It’s that time of the year, RELAX AND ENJOY IT.

 [Ron Brakke]
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