The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 10, 2022
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA


Earnings News
J.M. Smucker Co

Other News
Alpine Investors
Ankyra Therapeutics
Antech Diagnostics
CureLab Veterinary
Diggin’ Your Dog and Super Snouts
Dog is Human
EMulate Therapeutics
Mars Petcare
Pet Food Express
Rainier Partners
Royal DSM
Terravet Real Estate Solutions
Thrive Pet Healthcare
Trouw Nutrition
Zoesana Therapeutics

  • The M. Smucker Co. announced results for the 2022 fiscal year ending April 30, 2022. US Retail Pet Foods net sales were $2.76 billion, a year-over-year decline of 3% due to divestiture of a private label dry pet food business during the year. Segment profit was $396 million, a decline of 19%. (company website)
  • Bark, an omnichannel provider of themed toys and treats subscriptions, reported results for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022. Revenue was $507.4 million, a year-over-year increase of 34%. Net loss was $(68.3) million, compared to a net loss of $(31.4) million in the previous year. (Globalpets – subscription)


  • Zoetis announced an agreement to acquire Basepaws, a privately held petcare genetics company. Basepaws developed and markets a comprehensive DNA test for cats and the world’s first at-home oral health test for cats, with plans to expand into the dog market. Financial terms were not disclosed. (company press release)
  • Merck Animal Health announced it has received USDA license approval for Circumvent CML vaccine, is the first-ready-to-use, single-dose vaccine effective against disease caused by Porcine Circovirus Types 2a and 2d, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and Lawsonia intracellularis in pigs, three weeks of age or older. Circumvent CML will be commercially available starting in early 2023. (company press release)
  • Nutreco announced it has launched Nutreco Exploration (NutEx), a new division to explore opportunities in feed additives, bringing potential products to the proof-of-concept stage and advancing the company’s pipeline of specialty feed ingredients. NutEx will collaborate with Nutreco’s Trouw Nutrition livestock feed and Skretting aquaculture feed businesses, as well as with its Selko feed additive brand. (IHS Markit Connect – subscription)
  • Mars Petcare announced the launch of The Mars Petcare Biobank, which aims to be the largest, most comprehensive real-world study of its kind, recruiting 20,000 pets (10,000 dogs and 10,000 cats) already visiting select VCA Animal Hospitals and Banfield Pet Hospital locations across the US over 10 years. The biobank study will generate longitudinal physiological data from the samples collected and connected to other metadata to gain insights about changes in health status and understand the differences between pets that are healthy as they age and pets that develop diseases. (PRnewswire)
  • PetDx and Antech Diagnostics announced a strategic relationship to make the OncoK9 canine cancer test available to all Antech customers in the US and Canada. OncoK9 is currently available to veterinarians served by PetDx or IDEXX Reference Laboratories in the US and Canada. (IHS Markit Connect – subscription)
  • ControlPoint announced it has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant of $256,000 from the National Science Foundation. The grant will be used to demonstrate the initial feasibility of the firm’s K9 Rapid Test, which detects several pathogens identified to cause kennel cough in dogs in a single device. (IHS Markit Connect – subscription)
  • CureLab Veterinary announced it has launched its equity crowdfunding campaign in partnership with WeFunder to further develop its lead product, Elenavet (a supercoiled circular DNA called a plasmid), to treat mammary cancer in dogs . (Prweb)
  • Pet Food Express announced it has received an undisclosed investment from private equity firm Rainier Partners. (Pet Product News)
  • PetSmart announced the launch of PetSmart Veterinary Services (PVS), an independent business ownership model that enables veterinarians to open their own franchised practice within PetSmart stores. PVS will also provide each practice owner with built-in resources for marketing, information technology, construction, training, reporting and ongoing consultation. (Pet Business)
  • Thrive Pet Healthcare and Scratch announced a multi-year contract to bring cloud-based, omnichannel payment processing to Thrive’s network of 350+ veterinary practices. This formal contract comes after 2 successful years of Scratch being Thrive’s primary client financing option. (PRnewswire)
  • Antelope, a pet wellness platform backed by Alpine Investors, announced it has acquired Diggin’ Your Dog and Super Snouts, a provider of pet CBD supplements, health products and treats. Financial terms were not disclosed. (PEhub)
  • EMulate Therapeutics announced it has incorporated Zoesana Therapeutics, a new wholly owned subsidiary, to use its radio frequency energy platform to treat serious conditions such as cancer, anxiety and pain in companion animals. EMulate Therapeutics is developing a therapeutic device with its proprietary radio frequency energy technology that targets low and ultra-low ends of the radio frequency energy (ulRFE) spectrum. (IHS Markit Connect – subscription)
  • Ankyra Therapeutics announced that it has entered into a formal research collaboration with the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Ankyra’s cANK-101 in dogs with oral malignant melanoma. Ankyra is developing a novel anchored immunotherapy platform that allows retention of immune-oncology drugs in the tumor microenvironment for several weeks. (Businesswire)
  • Dog is Human, a pet health company, announced that it has closed a $1.2M pre-seed round. The brand’s first product is a human-grade multivitamin soft chew for dogs. (com)
  • NovoNutrients announced successful production of protein from carbon dioxide, with quality virtually identical to beef – “beef-quality protein, without the cow.” NovoNutrients technology takes the most abundant and inexpensive CO2-containing industrial emissions and hydrogen as its key inputs to make a range of protein ingredients and products. NovoNutrients claims its protein products deliver the complete set of essential amino acids needed for a healthy diet and will be neutrally flavored and hypoallergenic, with long shelf life and excellent manufacturing qualities. (thecattlesite)
  • Terravet Real Estate Solutions announced it has acquired the real estate of three veterinary practices located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Terravet partners with veterinary and healthcare operators to provide flexible real estate solutions, and owns approximately 1 million square feet of veterinary and healthcare real estate located in more than 35 states. (ACROFAN)
  • CANADA Neogen Corporation announced that the Natural and Non-Prescriptive Health Products Directorate Branch of Health Canada has granted approval for the distribution of Neogen Viroxide Super (a peroxygen-based powder disinfectant) in Canada. (prnewswire)
  • BRAZIL Royal DSM announced an agreement to acquire Prodap, a Brazilian animal nutrition and technology company that combines technology offerings, consulting services, and customized nutritional solutions to drive efficiency and sustainability in animal farming. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Feedstuffs – subscription)
  • KOREA Naver – a major Korean search engine – announced it has invested KRW10 billion ($7.9 million) in in online pet retailer AboutPet to position it as a leading e-commerce retailer for pet products in the Asian country. AboutPet reported revenue of KRW26.1 billion ($20.3M) in 2021. (GlobalPets)



  • VIETNAM – ASF Vietnam claims it has successfully developed a vaccine to administer to pigs to fight African Swine Fever, with the aim of becoming the first country to commercially produce and export it. The vaccine was developed in partnership with United States experts, with five clinical trials held. Its safety and efficacy was confirmed by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. (Businessworldonline)
  • US – FDA WEBINAR The FDA announced a live webinar titled, “Reporting of Veterinary Drug Supply Chain Information Using the Animal Drug Manufacturing System (ADMS) eSubmitter Tool.” Intended for animal drug manufacturers, US agents and consultants, and government agencies involved in the pharmaceutical supply chain, the webinar will take place from 1:00-3:30pm ET on Wednesday, June 22, via Zoom. Click here for more information. (FDA)
  • US – PUBLICATIONS The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (JFMS), the official journal of the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), announced it is becoming open access. This means that, from January 2023, all papers will be freely available to read online by everyone immediately upon publication, and will be published under a Creative Commons license. (association press release)
  • US – PET INSURANCE Maine has become the second state in the country, after California, to enact a law explicitly about pet insurance. The legislation will take effect Jan. 1 and is based on a draft model law developed by a working group of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which aims to provide clarity and consistency in policy provisions and disclosures of pet insurance as sales of the product rise. (VIN News)
  • FRANCE – COVID DETECTION A recent study conducted by researchers affiliated with the Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris found that dogs were more effective at detecting positive cases of Covid-19 through human sweat samples than nasal antigen tests. In the study, dogs were 97% effective at detecting a positive case of Covid compared to PCR tests — the most accurate Covid test — while nasal antigen tests detected 84% of positive Covid infections. The study also found that canines were 100% accurate in detecting positive Covid cases in asymptomatic individuals compared to PCR test results. The research was published in PLOS ONE. (APPA Newsletter – Forbes)

This week’s newsletter contains several announcements that are straightforward alone but indicate some significant shifts when taken together.  Mars Petcare (owner of VCA and Banfield) announced a significant study that would generate physiological metadata from 20,000 pets. This data could provide strong synergy to the Mars investments in genetics made in recent years. Another Mars subsidiary, Antech, has announced an expanded relationship with cancer test maker PetDx to make the OncoK9 test available to all Antech customers, broadening the reach of this testing technology. Finally, PetSmart has announced a program that will enable independent veterinarians to open a franchised practice in PetSmart locations. Until now, the Mars subsidiary Banfield operates most vet clinics in PetSmart retail locations.

We’ve all watched our industry embrace investments in genetics in a very long-term process with very few obvious near-term benefits. It’s too soon to tell, but the Mars Petcare Biobank could mark the beginning of the next phase where genetics begins to be more closely integrated into normal veterinary practice. In addition, PetSmart’s announcement that they will be opening a program to encourage and develop more independent ownership of in-store clinics provides yet another pathway for veterinarians to find a blend of “old style” clinic ownership with the benefits of the corporate business model that has swept the industry in recent years.

We, like you, will eagerly monitor the changes in landscape as they occur, and we’ll try to help us all make sense of the opportunities.

Jim Kroman

Last week we asked which factor has been most important in your talent retention program. 44% of you said creating a positive culture was most important, and 29% said offering hybrid/flex work arrangements. Hiring bonuses and constructive onboarding were mentioned by 11% each.

This week
We are rapidly approaching the end of the 2nd Quarter 2022.  In your business or practice, do you anticipate 1st half revenue to be above 8% compared to 2021 (that is, ahead of current inflation), between +8% and even with 2021, or below 1st half 2021?  Let’s see what kind of predictors we are.

First-half 2022 revenue growth at my company/practice will be:

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