The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 16, 2023
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

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Transactions Insights Seminar

Other News
Bimeda Biologicals
Blue Rabbit
Embrace Insurance
Merck (Circumvent CML)
Merck (Innovax-ILT-IBD)
MidOcean Partners
Midwest Veterinary Supply
PetMed Express
Thrive Pet Healthcare
Wedgewood Pharmacy

Transaction Insights: Unlocking the Secrets to Successful Business Deals in Animal Health
New seminar coming August 30-31, 2023 in Kansas City                        

Are you seeking to navigate the complex landscape of buying and selling businesses in the animal health and nutrition industry?  We are excited to announce the relaunch of our educational due diligence seminar, tailored specifically for animal health professionals.

It’s more than just due diligence – we will help you unlock the secrets to successful deals in animal health. Our comprehensive seminar is designed to equip you with the knowledge, tools, and strategies to make informed decisions and to successfully manage a transaction. Presenters include Bob Jones, Jim Kroman, Randy Freides, and Ron Brakke as well as Damian Burke, Main Street Capital and Mark Stoneman, Armstrong, Teasdale, LLP.  The preliminary agenda can be found here.

This Seminar will be held after the KCAHC Animal Health Summit in Kansas City on Wednesday and Thursday, August 30-31.  Click here to sign up today and receive a discount.

For more information, contact Amanda McDavid at or 336.396.3916.


  • Merck Animal Health announced the launch of Circumvent CML, which protects swine against disease caused by Porcine Circovirus Types 2a (PCV2a) and 2d (PCV2d), Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and Lawsonia intracellularisis. (DVM360)
  • Bimeda Biologicals announced the launch of Stimulator 5 + PMH modified live virus (MLV) vaccine for Bovine Respiratory Disease in cattle. This vaccine takes Bimeda Biologicals’ 5-way viral vaccine and combines it with bacterial antigen to protect against infection with Mannheimia haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida. (company press release)
  • IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. announced the launch of The IDEXX Cystatin B Test, the first veterinary diagnostic test for detecting kidney injury in cats and dogs. The Crystatin B Test will be included in IDEXX Reference Laboratory test panels assessing renal health. (company press release)
  • Wedgewood Pharmacy announced its merger with Blue Rabbit, an emerging leader in veterinary prescription management and pharmacy solutions. The merger adds small-animal dispensing locations in Novato, CA, and Raleigh, NC, as well as dedicated equine pharmacies in Lexington, KY, and Bakersfield, CA, to Wedgewood’s existing facilities. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. (company press release)
  • PetMed Express announced it has created a new private-label line of premium pet health products at affordable prices named DelRay Pet Apothecary. The line offers supplements, organic treats, anti-allergy products, grooming products and more for dogs and cats. (Pet Business)
  • Zomedica announced the launch of the TRUVIEW digital microscopy platform, featuring the proprietary TRUprep system that automatically prepares slides, along with LiquiView liquid lens technology that provides best-in-class images. All the traditional manual slide preparation steps, including smearing, drying, fixing, staining, washing and drying, are handled by the TRUprep system. TRUVIEW’s digital imaging and telepathology interface provide veterinarians with multiple diagnostic options, including reading the slide directly on the microscope, reviewing the slide digitally from a remote computer, or sending the image to a Zomedica pathologist for external review and consultation. (Accesswire)
  • Midwest Veterinary Supply this week was sentenced to one year of probation for introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. In addition, Midwest Veterinary Supply agreed to pay over $11 million in criminal fines and forfeiture. According to court documents, from 2011-2021, Midwest charged and shipped over $10 million in prescription drugs from their non-pharmacy locations throughout the US to end-users that were not authorized to receive prescription drugs. (Feedstuffs – subscription)
  • The USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB) announced it has allowed animal health company, Medgene, license to produce and market a USDA-approved Platform Vaccine to the pork industry. The license applies to use of their Platform technology to produce vaccines addressing disease targets such as Rotavirus, Porcine Circovirus, Influenza A, and Sapovirus. (PRnewswire)
  • Dutch, a veterinary telemedicine platform, announced that it is partnering with Thrive Pet Healthcare. Dutch’s platform will refer patients that need care to Thrive’s brick and mortar clinics; in return, Thrive will be able to direct its patients to Dutch’s online care for cases that can be seen virtually. Along with the partnership, Embrace Insurance customers now can access Dutch by contacting its “Paw Support” to receive prescriptions through a Dutch provider to help save them a trip to their veterinarian. (DVM360)
  • MidOcean Partners, an alternative asset manager, announced it has acquired QualiTech, a global manufacturer of plant nutrition, animal nutrition and food ingredient products and services. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Feedstuffs – subscription)
  • The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) launched NAVC HiVE, a new style of in-person events. Concurrently, the NAVC announced its first HiVE, the Vet Nurse+Tech HiVE, the first and only event of its kind dedicated to veterinary nurses and technicians. Vet Nurse+Tech HiVE will take place in Austin, TX in October 2023. (company press release)
  • EU Merck Animal Health announced that the European Commission has approved Innovax-ILT-IBD, a dual-construct HVT vaccine that provides long-term protection against infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT), infectious bursal disease (IBD) and Marek’s disease (MD) in poultry. Innovax-ILT-IBD is the first and only vaccine approved in the EU to provide combined protection against the development of ILT, IBD and MD in a single injection. (Feedstuffs – subscription)
  • SWEDEN Symrise announced it has bought enough shares in Swedencare to trigger a mandatory offer to acquire the whole company. The German chemical company said it bought 2,300 new shares of the Swedencare, meaning it has reached 30% ownership of the company and must offer to buy the remaining shares within four weeks, according to Swedish law. Swedencare would be valued at up to 5.95 billion Swedish kronor ($555 million) based on a per-share price of SEK37.50. (Marketwatch)

Professional Development and Academic Programs & Webinars

Animal Health Regulatory Affairs Graduate Certificate | July 12, 12:00 p.m.
Gain the knowledge that will open doors for your career in animal health! K-State Olathe’s 15 credit hour Regulatory Affairs graduate certificate, which is fully online, is based on industry input and exclusively tailored to the animal health industry. It provides a series of courses and experiences that will help equip animal health professionals with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate governmental processes and regulations.  Register today!

CRO and Sponsor Essentials in Animal Health Studies | Aug. 30 
Selecting the right CRO for your organization is critical in the success of product development. Managing the relationship and ensuring regulatory compliance can be a challenge. Our experts and participants will discuss best practices to avoid GLP pitfalls, submission requirements and the CRO relationship. This is available online and in person. Workshop details


Brakke Consulting
Veterinarian industry position

Veterinarians! Looking for a career move out of the ordinary, one with leadership in a unique specialty clinic? Sage Veterinary Imaging in Sandy, UT is seeking someone like you to lead their team to help provide human-grade diagnostic imaging services to pets. Check our short video for details and be sure to apply directly by clicking here! We look forward to speaking with you. For questions, please contact Jeff Santosuosso, Executive Recruiter at

  • US – DRUG REGULATION The FDA announced the transition of over-the-counter medically important antimicrobials for animals to prescription status.  All affected animal drug sponsors opted to either voluntarily change the approved marketing status of certain medically important antimicrobial drugs for animals from over-the-counter (OTC) to prescription (Rx) or to voluntarily withdraw approval of their affected OTC animal drug applications. As a result, all products affected by GFI #263 that enter the marketplace will now have prescription labels. Once remaining inventory of OTC-labeled products depletes, all medically important antimicrobials for animals will require the authorization of a licensed veterinarian. (FDA)
  • US – GENE THERAPY A single injection of an experimental gene therapy that spurs production of anti-Mullerian hormone prevented pregnancy in six female cats. If proven safe and effective in larger studies, the gene therapy could offer a nonsurgical alternative for controlling feral cat and dog populations, particularly in under-resourced regions. The research was  published in Nature Communications. (AVMA Smartbrief – New York Times (subscription))
  • US – FEED REGULATION The Innovative Feed Enhancement and Economic Development Act of 2023 (or “Innovative FEED Act”) was introduced in the US Senate to amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to establish a regulatory pathway for a new category of animal food substances that act solely within animals’ gut microbiomes or in the feed they are digesting to provide non-nutritive benefits. Currently, the FDA says it does not have the authority to regulate these products as food ingredients, and animal food manufacturers must go through the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine’s drug approval process. The Innovative FEED Act would change this by creating a category for zootechnical animal food substances (ZAFS), regulating these products as food ingredients, not animal drugs. (association press release)
  • WORLD – PAIN MANAGEMENT The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) announced it will launch a Certificate in Pain Management, supported by Zoetis, to promote the importance of companion animal pain management as a discipline and offer veterinarians and veterinary nurses/technicians a recognized international qualification in the subject for the first time. The International Veterinary Academy for Pain Management (IVAPM) is supporting the dissemination of the Certificate. (association press release)
  • CANADA – BOVINE RESEARCH The University of Guelph has developed a new tool that aims to use genetic evaluation to help breeders select low-methane dairy cows to help reduce farm greenhouse gas emissions without affecting milk production. Breeders can now predict which cows will produce calves that, when fully grown, will belch out less methane while still producing as much or more milk. (Vet Advantage)

On a recent visit to suppliers of animal health products, which had significant store front, I had the opportunity to interact with both the suppliers and some of their clients. I posed a question to both, regarding control of the purchasing decisions.

It was very clear that even though a massive evolution has been and is actively taking place, at least on the cattle side of things one factor remained the number one controlling factor!

Some older clients remembered the days of store credit. Well, credit cards have now replaced that to a major degree. Pricing was obviously expected to be a key decision factor, but most clients felt that due to web-based transparency it is easy to ensure/check parity these days. Reliable information on product choice is becoming a bit more difficult due to oversupply of choice and information, especially via social media. Ease of ordering online has removed some of the time spent in the store, but all clients agreed they still regularly spoke to the folks at the supplier.

I was surprised to see several of the regional suppliers actively in expansion mode, either adding people or floor space. A second observation was that several organizations were truly transforming into family businesses, where the next generation was becoming more actively involved in management and interacting with the client base.

So, what was the number one consideration for suppliers, to ensure that clients would remain loyal; and what was the number one client pre-requisite for motivating them to remain a loyal client?

Both were 100% aligned – simply: TRUST!

It should really not have come as any surprise, as the decision of many folks on how and where they buy their food has shifted to people or organizations they trust; and they are building long term relationships. So, why not animal health supplies? This was not new, just confirmed.

As suppliers or manufacturers, what are you doing to build and/or ensure trust with your client?

Lourens Havenga

Last week, we asked for your guess on the value of the Brazilian pet market. 42% of you said it is US$600M or more, and 32% said it is $500-599M.  7% said $400-499M; 13% said $300-399M; and 6% said less than $300M.  The actual value of the Brazilian pet market is $450 million.

This week
Does your company currently have initiatives specifically focused on building/maintaining your customers’ trust?

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