The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 11, 2021
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

Brakke Consulting news
Jeff Santosuosso joins Brakke 

Other News
20/20 Imaging
Allflex Livestock Intelligence
ALR Technologies SG
Better Choice Company
Butterfly Network
Central Garden & Pet
Kinetic Vet
Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas
Livestock Improvement Corporation
Merck (Sequivity)
Merck (Armatrex)
Merck (LIC)
Northern Star Acquisition Corp.
The Original BARK Co.
S2G Ventures
St Francis Group
Sunshine Mills
Thai Union
Torigen Pharmaceuticals
TriRx Pharmaceutical Services
VCA Animal Hospitals
ViAqua Therapeutics
Victor Medical Company



Brakke Consulting is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeff Santosuosso to its team of consultants to lead executive recruiting efforts at the company.

Jeff brings a unique set of skills and experiences to Brakke Consulting.  Prior to joining Brakke Consulting, Jeff has had held management and leadership positions in sales, marketing, licensing, business development, and general management for Merck (now Boehringer-Ingelheim), Novartis Crop Protection (now Syngenta AG), Virbac, and Pegasus Laboratories.

Mr. Santosuosso received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Dartmouth University. In a statement, Mr. Santosuosso says, “I’m pleased to join this team and look forward to working individually with clients. Brakke is uniquely positioned to offer a pinpointed and devoted service complemented by its wide animal health and nutrition network. This is an exciting and valuable combination for the industry.”

Jeff can be reached at   or 214.986.0672.


  • Elanco Animal Health announced an agreement to sell the former Bayer Animal Health North American headquarters in Shawnee, Kansas, and a facility in Speke, United Kingdom, to TriRx Pharmaceutical Services. TriRx provides contract research and development and manufacturing services. Financial terms were not disclosed. Additionally, Elanco will cease operations at the legacy Bayer Animal Health manufacturing site in Belford Roxo, Brazil. (company press release)
  • Merck Animal Health announced it is expanding its Sequivity veterinary prescription vaccine platform to include a vaccine for sapovirus, an emerging virus causing diarrhea in young pigs. (company press release)
  • Merck Animal Health announced the launch of Armatrex, an EPA-registered bacteriostatic spray-on antimicrobial solution for use on structures and physical components in a variety of livestock production, equine and companion animal biosecurity situations. (
  • Norbrook North America announced the launch of Cefenil RTU to its portfolio of generic products for use in swine. (
  • Covetrus announced that the latest AVImark and eVetPractice updates include streamlined prescribing through an embedded integration with the Covetrus Prescription Management Platform. (company press release)
  • Kinetic Vet announced the launch of EquiShield FG (Fly Guard) for horses, a natural repellent used to repel ticks, biting flies, mosquitoes, and gnats. (company press release)
  • Torigen Pharmaceuticals announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Victor Medical Company to expand U.S. channel partnerships of its patented experimental autologous cancer vaccine for companion animals. According to the announcement this is Torigen’s first distribution agreement. (
  • Sunshine Mills voluntarily recalled Sportsman’s Pride and several other brands of dog food after routine surveillance by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture revealed the presence of Salmonella bacteria in a sample. The recall involves specific lots of Sportsman’s Pride, Sprout, Intimidator and FRM Gold Select products sold in retail stores and online. (AVMA SmartBrief – Food Poisoning Bulletin)
  • Freshpet disclosed in an SEC filing that it will be partnering with Chewy that will see Freshpet vital brand products sold on the Chewy platform in select geographies later this year. (
  • Better Choice Company announced that it has submitted an application to the NYSE American exchange. (
  • Central Garden & Pet announced the launch of a new Opticalm diffuser for its Comfort Zone cat-calming pheromones. (company press release)
  • VCA Animal Hospitals announced the creation of IdeaPark, an incubator for new ideas in veterinary medicine. IdeaPark features a rotating group of general practice hospital teams that will validate new ideas and innovation in the area of pet medicine. It will launch at eight hospitals across Atlanta, Los Angeles and Denver. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • JBS USA confirmed that it paid the equivalent of $11 million in ransom in response to the criminal hack against its operations. At the time of payment, the vast majority of the company’s facilities were operational. In consultation with internal IT professionals and third-party cybersecurity experts, the company made the decision to mitigate any unforeseen issues related to the attack and ensure no data was exfiltrated. (Feedstuffs)
  • BarkBox and Northern Star Acquisition Corp. announced they have completed their merger and will now be known as The Original BARK Co. (Pet Products News)
  • Shipt and VitusVet announced a new partnership to bring same-day delivery of prescriptions and products to pet owners across the country directly from their local veterinarian through VitusVet’s newest product launch, VetShipRx. (PRNewswire)
  • Butterfly Network, Inc. and the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine have announced that the school will be equipping incoming students with the Butterfly iQ Vet single-probe, whole-body ultrasound system. The university will pair two students to each probe; each faculty member will also have access to the probes. (company press release)
  • 20/20 Imaging, a division of Konica Minolta Healthcare Americas, Inc., announced the launch of Vetsmart, a new veterinary digital X-ray imaging system that uses patented technology and algorithms to optimize the acquisition technique and monitor system operation. (
  • IntelGenx announced that it has entered into a Materials Transfer Agreement with an undisclosed global veterinary health company to evaluate IntelGenx’s proprietary VetaFilm platform in cats. Based on a successful evaluation, IntelGenx and the Partner will enter into negotiations for a commercial agreement in the veterinary field. (Globe Newswire)
  • NEW ZEALAND Livestock Improvement Corporation announced it has entered into an agreement to divest its automation business to Merck Animal Health for an amount of NZ$38.1 million (US$27.4 million) and subject to a working capital adjustment. The LIC Automation product portfolio joins Allflex Livestock Intelligence, a Merck Animal Health business unit. (
  • UK MWI Animal Health UK has launched the MWI Buying Group after combining its two existing buying groups, St Francis Group and VetsWest, making it the largest GPO in the UK. (
  • SINGAPORE ALR Technologies SG Ltd., a diabetes management company,  announced the establishment of the ALRT Animal Health Division, a new business division which will introduce GluCurve Pet CGM in 2022. According to the company, the device will be the world’s first and only CGM for diabetic companion animals.  It will automatically take blood glucose readings every 5 minutes for up to 14 days, eliminating the need for traditional blood glucose curves. (
  • THAILAND S2G Ventures, Thai Union and Agriline announced a $4.3 million investment in ViAqua Therapeutics to help develop its orally delivered RNA-particle shrimp health platform and bring other health and nutrition projects closer to commercialization. (



  • US – FDA The FDA has finalized guidance for industry (GFI) #263 to outline the process for animal drug sponsors to voluntarily change the approved marketing status of certain medically important antimicrobial drugs from over-the-counter (OTC) to prescription (Rx). Once this change is made, these important drugs can only be used in animals under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Click here for more information. (FDA)
  • WORLD – HUMAN ANIMAL BOND The Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) have partnered to highlight the importance of veterinary medicine to support strong, long-lasting human-companion animal bonds and to promote the health benefits of interacting with pets. Activities agreed under the partnership will focus on promoting the science of the human-animal bond and the veterinary profession’s positive role in animal welfare and human wellness.  The WSAVA is also represented on the Advisory Committee which participates in the development of the online Human Animal Bond Certification course, created by HABRI and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC). (association press release)
  • US – CANINE RESEARCH Researchers at North Carolina State University have launched a project to figure out if different dog breeds have different pain sensitivity levels. The researchers for the past year have recruited dogs from 10 breeds, administering a pain sensitivity test in which a small portion of hair is clipped from the dog’s front and back legs, then monitoring the animal’s cognitive response. (Vet Advantage)


As I write this week’s Viewpoint, today’s business news is focused on the jump in the Consumer Price Index recorded earlier this week; a jump of 5.0% from May of 2020.  While it is difficult to generalize a response due to some highly unusual factors in the data, it is clear that at least in the short term we’re seeing significant price gains.  A comparison from 2020 to 2021 is especially difficult because the 2020 data was depressed by the pandemic shut-downs, and therefore the 2021 gains are large in comparison.

Last week Paul Casady asked you to predict the effect of rising inflation on the animal health market, and those of you who answered Paul showed you are well tuned to the current data!  51% of you predicted significant impact across all segments of our industry, and only 7% predicted no effect whatsoever.  There are still a few of us around who remember the economy of the 70’s and early 80’s, with double digit interest rates and strong inflationary pressure that seemed to be a permanent fixture of our lives.  Inflation in the economy provides an opportunity for those businesses that are managed well to separate themselves from their competitors.

Veterinary medicine is not overly sensitive to the economy, nor is it immune to these challenges.  Likely those companies or practices involved in food animal production have the stronger challenge; over time, however, there will be pricing pressure even on the world of companion animals.  It takes strong discipline to manage spending, use debt wisely to your advantage, improve your cash flow, and otherwise take steps to limit the damage that inflation can do to you.  Since so many in our industry recognize the threat right now, perhaps most will be able to navigate these difficult times and come out healthy when stability returns.

Jim Kroman


This week

For this week’s question, we ask – are you still following the pandemic restrictions of masking and social distancing?  Your answer may be largely affected by where you live, but it will be interesting to know.

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