The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 14, 2019
Copyright © Brakke Consulting

Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

Brakke Consulting news

earnings news
J.M. Smucker

other news
AquaBounty Technologies
Aratana Therapeutics
Better Choice Company
BioMar Group
BioMe Oxford
CannaSoul Analytics
Creso Pharma
De Haan Petfood
ELIAS Animal Health
Mimi’s Rock
Rayne Clinical Nutrition
Value Enhancement Partners
Yield Lab

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• The J. M. Smucker Company announced results for the fourth quarter ended April 30, 2019, of its 2019 fiscal year. US Retail Pet Food sales were $721 million, an increase of 35% over the comparable prior-year quarter. Excluding the Ainsworth acquisition, net sales declined 2%, due to the impact of the exit of certain private label businesses and the discontinuation of Gravy Train wet dog food products. (company website)

• Parnell Pharmaceuticals reported results for its first quarter of fiscal 2019. The company posted revenues of A$5.6 million (US$3.9 million), an increase of 9% growth compared to the comparable prior-year period. The firm’s loss for the quarter was A$(3.05) million compared to the A($0.6) million reported this time last year. (Animal Pharm)


• Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. announced the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) approved an additional vial size (10 mL) for NOCITA (bupivacaine liposome injectable suspension). The approval marks the fifth FDA approval in three years for the company. (company press release, Animal Pharm)

• Zomedica Pharmaceuticals Corp. announced that it has completed its second tranche closing of Series 1 Preferred Shares with the issuance of 7 Series 1 Preferred Shares to an accredited investor under a private placement for a total purchase price of $7 million. The Company previously issued 5 Series 1 Preferred Shares to the same subscriber at a purchase price of $5 million. (company press release)

• Avivagen Inc. and Mimi’s Rock Corp., an online dietary supplement and wellness company operating under the Dr. Tobias brand, announced a Joint Venture agreement focused on the online sale of nutritional supplements for cats and dogs. This joint venture will be the exclusive channel through which Avivagen sells nutritional supplements for cats and dogs online; the profits will be shared equally between the two companies. (company press release)

• PharmaCielo Ltd. announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares and listed options of Creso Pharma Ltd, a global medicinal cannabis company, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately A$122 million (US$85 million). (

• AquaBounty Technologies announced it has begun commercial production of genetically engineered (GE) salmon at its fish farm in Albany, Indiana. The start of US production is a major milestone for the company, made possible in March when the US FDA lifted an import ban that had blocked the company from importing GE salmon eggs from Canada and effectively prohibited it from selling its products to US consumers. (Animal Pharm)

• Better Choice Company, Inc. announced that it has entered into a research and development partnership with CannaSoul Analytics Ltd. The partnership will serve as a platform for the development of unique and differentiated pet CBD intellectual property for use in the veterinary market. Better Choice also announced it has finalized a joint marketing agreement with PetPremium Inc., a pet insurance provider. (

• ELIAS Animal Health and BodeVet announced a joint effort to significantly expand the availability of ELIAS’ ECI treatment for canine cancer via the mobile apheresis capabilities of BodeVet. Apheresis is a processing procedure that separates blood into different components and, in this case, yields the T cells critical to the ELIAS treatment protocol. (Vet Advantage)

• LexaGene Holdings Inc announced that the first beta prototype of the company’s LX Analyzer has been placed at Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital (an Ethos Veterinary Health hospital). The beta prototype identifies the presence of bacteria causing urinary tract infections in animals and screens samples for common antibiotic resistance factors. The open access nature of the instrument that allows end users to customize the instrument to target any pathogen of interest, returning results in an hour. (

• CUBEX, LLC, announced a partnership with the Veterinary Study Group to provide automated dispensing systems – cabinets with computer-controlled drawers filled with smaller, individually locked compartments for medications that can help mitigate missed charges, overuse, and theft of inventory. (

• CHILE BioMar Group announced it has acquired the 50% remaining shares held by AquaChile in the Chilean factory Alitec Pargua, leaving BioMar as the sole owner of the former joint venture. The acquisition comes after the change in ownership of AquaChile, who was acquired last summer by the Agrosuper group. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Feed Strategy enews)

• CANADA Rayne Clinical Nutrition, makers of veterinary-exclusive therapeutic diets, announced that Canadian veterinarians — and U.S. practitioners later in 2019 — can receive free case-based pet nutrition advice from the company’s Clinical Advisory Team, an independent panel of experts assembled by the company. The service is available to veterinarians regardless of whether the veterinary clinic sells Rayne products. (Today’s Veterinary Business)

• NETHERLANDS Value Enhancement Partners (“VEP”) and partners announced they have acquired 100% of the shares of De Haan Petfood, producer of premium canned petfood based in Nieuwkoop, the Netherlands. Financial terms were not disclosed. (company press release)

• SWEDEN Intervacc and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) announced they have extended an ongoing relationship to develop veterinary vaccines using recombinant proteins. The new multi-year partnership will focus on two vaccine projects currently in Intervacc’s pipeline: one vaccine is for infections in piglets caused by Streptococcus suis and the second is for infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause mastitis in dairy cows. (Animal Pharm)

• SWITZERLAND Mootral announced that Swiss Climate Foundation (SCF) has provided Mootral with a CHF200,000 ($202,310) grant to support its efforts in reducing cattle methane emissions. Mootral Ruminant is a natural feed supplement that claims to reduce methane emissions from ruminants by up to 38%. Mootral will launch its first product in selected markets in Northern Europe in late 2019. (Animal Pharm)

• UK DuPont announced it is partnering with UK start-up BioMe Oxford to work in the areas of human and animal microbiome modulation. The DuPont Microbiome Venture will help BioMe develop BioCapture, an orally delivered capsule that samples gut microbiota. According to the company, greater understanding of the animal microbiome will be the pathway to improved innovation in the area of animal nutrition. (Animal Pharm)

• FRANCE Ynsect announced it has secured EUR 20 million ($22.6 million) in European Commission funding to build its first fully automated facility for the production of premium insect protein. The site will produce mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) on an industrial scale to be used as a premium protein for animal feed and fertilizers. (Animal Pharm)

• IRELAND Yield Lab announced a new EUR 21 million ($23.6 million) venture capital fund, which will target animal health start-ups. Yield Lab Europe Fund 1 will invest in early-stage agritech businesses that have the potential to scale up internationally. Yield Lab has run its AgTech Accelerator Program over the past two years in Europe. (Animal Pharm)


• US – RABIES The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a temporary ban on dogs imported to the U.S. from Egypt on May 10, effective immediately, citing an increase in the instances of dogs that contracted rabies in Egypt being brought to the U.S. during recent years. The suspension will remain until “appropriate veterinary controls” have been established in Egypt to prevent the export of rabid dogs, according to the notice. The ban includes dogs originating in Egypt that are imported from third-party countries if the dogs have been present in those countries for less than six months. (AVMA)

• The VIN Foundation announced the release of the 2019 Veterinary Graduate Student Loan Playbook ( The Student Loan Playbook includes three parts: a video recording of a recent veterinary graduate student debt webinar; the VIN Foundation Veterinary Graduate Student Loan Checklist; detailed answers to common debt management questions. (foundation press release)

• US – VETERINARY EDUCATION Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine announced it is moving forward with plans to build a new, $108 million veterinary teaching hospital. The Indiana General Assembly recently approved $73 million in funding for the project, and the university is contributing $35 million. The project could break ground as soon as early 2020. (AVMA)

• US – USDA The USDA announced that the Kansas City region has been selected for the home offices of its Economic Research Service (ERS) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). (KCAHC)

• WORLD – MEATLESS MEAT According to a report from the consultancy AT Kearney, by the year 2040, 60% of the “meat” we eat will come not from dead animals but rather “will be either grown in vats or replaced by plant-based products that look and taste like meat.” The report, based on interviews with experts, traces this potential shift to both the environmental impact of conventional meat and to animal rights concerns in industrial farming regimes. (The Guardian)


A major agri-tourism destination 80 miles southeast of Chicago is Fair Oaks Farm, a huge dairy and swine operation run by several farm families. The founder is a veterinarian. On any given day you’ll see a parade of school buses taking children there to see calves and piglets born, cows milked, and eat fresh farm-raised food. Fair Oaks has been praised profusely in the agricultural media for “telling agriculture’s story” in a very positive way.

Within the last few days an animal welfare organization released film of horrible – and real – animal cruelty on some of the Fair Oaks properties. Three employees have been arrested. Several grocery chains have pulled the Fair Oaks milk brand, Fairlife, from their stores. (Advertising theme: “Exceptional cow care and sustainable farming practices … yield higher quality milk.”)

If you questioned the news item above predicting that as much as 60% of “meat” items may not come from animals within 20 years, think about the imagery that Fair Oaks has just inadvertently presented to the consuming public. Sobering.

John Volk

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