The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for June 28, 2019
Copyright © Brakke Consulting

Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

Brakke Consulting news
Executive recruiting services

earnings news
General Mills (Blue Buffalo)

other news
Advocate by Pharma Supply
Biovet Private
BP Ventures
Carus Animal Health
Cosmic Pet
Diamond Pet Care
Ethos Animal Health
Heart + Paw
Hendrix Genetics
Hyper Pet
Kemin Nutrisurance
Kindred Biosciences
Land O’Lakes
Natural Chemistry Pet & Home
Perdue AgriBusiness
Pet Supplies Plus
Royal Agrifirm Group
Veterinary Hospitals Association
Veterinary Insights


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• Patterson Companies, reported results for its fiscal year ended April 27, 2019. Reported net sales in the Animal Health segment were $3.354 billion, an increase of 3.5% compared to the last fiscal year. (company press release)

• General Mills reported results for the full fiscal year ended May 26, 2019. Financial results for fiscal 2019 include contributions from Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc., which was acquired on April 24, 2018. Pet net sales of $1.43 billion increased 11% on a pro forma basis, Segment operating profit totaled $268 million, down 11% on a pro forma basis, driven by the impact of purchase accounting including a $53 million one-time inventory adjustment and $13 million of intangible asset amortization. Excluding those charges, pro forma segment operating profit increased 11% . (company website)

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• Zoetis announced it has reintroduced the vaccine Poulvac Coryza ABC IC3 to help US poultry producers combat outbreaks of avian coryza. The vaccine has a full USDA license, but because of limited need, it had not been marketed in the US in recent years, and the label was changed for export use only. Zoetis worked with the USDA to obtain approval to distribute the product in the US with the current export label, which has been granted. (Feedstuffs)

• Elanco Animal Health announced a new global R&D collaboration with AgBiome, Inc. to develop nutritional health products for swine. The research and development collaboration with AgBiome is intended to deliver innovative probiotic solutions to swine producers’ gut health challenges. Financial terms were not disclosed. (company press release)

• Kindred Biosciences Inc. announced an agreement to stock Mirataz and future biopharmaceuticals at more than 420 clinics represented by the Veterinary Hospitals Association, a group purchasing organization and provider of business services and continuing education for member clinics. (Todays Veterinary Business)

• Covetrus announced it will serve as the supply chain partner Heart + Paw, an integrated pet care company that offers comprehensive wellness for animals, including veterinary care, boarding, daycare, grooming and community experiences to pets and their parents. (

• Diamond Pet Care announced the launch of Diamond CARE Urinary Support Formula for Adult Cats, a therapeutic nutrition formula for cats that suffer from feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). (DVM360)

• Advocate by Pharma Supply announced the launch of PetTest U-40 syringes with 31 gauge, extra fine needles. PetTest’s new syringe offerings, available in both 1/3 CC and 1/2 CC capacities. (DVM360)

• Kemin Nutrisurance announced the launch of Palteva, a line of natural flavor enhancers for dog food. Palteva palatants provide super-premium flavor with formulations containing only natural ingredients and preservatives. (

• Evonik Industries announced it will partner with Perdue AgriBusiness to market its GutCare probiotic in the US. GutCare (Bacillus subtilis DSM 32315) is available as a granular feed additive and is designed to support a balanced gut microbiome in poultry and other monogastric animals. (Animal Pharm)

• Cargill and InnovaFeed announced a collaboration to jointly market fish feed that includes insect protein. InnovaFeed uses agricultural co-products from the production of starch and sugar to feed black soldier fly larvae. Once the larvae reach a certain stage, protein and oil are extracted from the larvae to be used in feed for pets, aquaculture species and young animals like broilers and piglets. (Feedstuffs)

• Hyper Pet LLC announced a new corporate name, Cosmic Pet, following its recent merging with R2P Pet and OurPet’s Co. (Pet Product News)

• MiracleCorp announced it has acquired Natural Chemistry Pet & Home, a brand known for its natural flea and tick, grooming and pet care products. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Pet Business)

• Pet Supplies Plus 46 new franchise store announced it signed 22 franchise agreements in the first half of 2019, which will result in 46 new Pet Supplies Plus stores across Texas, Florida, California, Michigan, Kentucky and New Hampshire. (APPA Newsletter)

• Ethos Animal Health announced the addition of two hospital groups: WVRC, with three locations in Wisconsin; and Pet Emergency & Specialty Center of Marin in California. Financial terms were not disclosed. (company press release)

• Recombinetics and Hendrix Genetics announced that their research into precision breeding as an alternative to surgical castration has produced healthy litters of naturally castrated piglets. The partners will now determine the commercial viability of castration-free pigs. (Animal Pharm)

• Calysta, the developer of FeedKind protein – an alternative feed ingredient for fish, livestock and pets – announced it received a $30 million investment from BP Ventures. The investment from BP will help Calysta expand production of the sustainable single-cell protein, which is produced through a natural gas fermentation process. (Animal Pharm)

• Carus Animal Health announced the acquisition of Medi-Productions and Veterinary Insights. Medi-Productions is a France-headquartered digital communications firm that provides its VisioCare Suite and the MyBuddy Pet app to veterinarians and pet owners. UK-based Veterinary Insights is part of the Insights DBM business in France, which is encompassed in the acquisition. Veterinary Insights provides a range of veterinary business information services that aim to transform data into actionable insight. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Animal Pharm)

• TailTrax announced the launch of TailTrax Litter Link Technology, a free mobile app that lets veterinarians share information with their colleagues on specific litters of dogs. Features include being able to share real-time health alerts regarding a litter, search health alerts, access a research database and securely message peers caring for other dogs from the same litter. (DVM360)

• EU Bayer Animal Health announced that Advocate Spot-on (imidacloprid/moxidectin) has received a positive opinion for new indications in cats in the EU. The new therapeutic indications are the prevention and treatment of the lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus; and the treatment of the eye worm Thelazia callipaeda. (Animal Pharm)

• CHINA Land O’Lakes Inc. and Royal Agrifirm Group announced that they will be setting up a dairy animal feed joint venture in China under the name Agrilakes. The new joint venture will initially be based in Agrifirm’s existing manufacturing plant in Tianjin, China, with plans to build a new dairy premix and specialty plant on the adjacent property. (Feedstuffs)

• INDIA Biovet Private announced it is investing INR200 crore ($28.7 million) in expanding its foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and brucellosis vaccine manufacturing abilities in Malur. The new investment into its existing site in Malur will increase its FMD vaccine manufacturing capacity from 200 million to 500 million doses; a new brucellosis manufacturing plant will also be constructed at the site and is projected to manufacture 100 million doses per year. (Animal Pharm)


• US – CANINE CARDIAC DISEASE The FDA provided an update on its investigation into reports of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods containing a high proportion of peas, lentils, other legume seeds (pulses), and/or potatoes in various forms as main ingredients. For more information, go to (FDA)

• US – FERAL SWINE The USDA announced it is funding $75 million for a pilot program focused on the eradication and control of feral swine. The program is currently accepting applications for partners to undertake activities as part of these pilot projects in select areas of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas – states which APHIS determined to have the highest feral swine population densities and damages. (Animal Pharm)

• US – BRD DETECTION The University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, department of animal science and Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources (UCANR) have developed a phone app that leads dairy producers through a scoring system for BRD. Producers can view and select photos of clinical signs — normal or abnormal — in the app. Using a random survey sample, the app can estimate a calf herd’s BRD prevalence and create a report that can also be shared with the herd veterinarian. (Feedstuffs)

• US – TRACEABILITY The CattleTrace program continues to expand to additional states as a partnership was announced last week with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry and Oklahoma beef industry stakeholders to evaluate the functionalities and capabilities of the program in the state. CattleTrace is now present in 5 states, with discussions proceeding in several more. (Vet Advantage, organization website)

• US – CANNABIS REGULATION A bill has been introduced in the California legislature that prevents the state Veterinary Medical Board from taking special enforcement against vets who recommend cannabis products, such as CBD oil, for their animal patients. The bill also allows for an animal’s “primary caregiver” to purchase medical marijuana products for their pet if they have a valid veterinarian recommendation. It is opposed by the state Veterinary Medical Board, citing a lack of protection against negligent and incompetent cannabis recommendations by veterinarians (

• US – ANIMAL WELFARE The Animal Wellness Foundation (AWF) and Animal Wellness Action (AWA) have announced the formation of a National Law Enforcement Council (NLEC) dedicated to enforcing our federal, state, and local laws against animal cruelty. (Vet Advantage)

• US – PARASITE RESEARCH Researchers have identified a newly discovered species of bacterial pathogen, Chryseobacterium nematophagum, that has been shown to be fatal to nematodes in a laboratory setting. The bacterium, nicknamed the “golden death” bacteria, successfully killed 100% of the trichostrongylid and strongylid pathogens exposed to it within 24 hours of exposure. Researchers indicate that this bacteria could have future benefits to veterinary medicine. (DVM360)

• US – PIGLET ANALGESIA Scientists at KSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine have shown that ‘transmammary delivery’ – a concept that involves injecting a sow with pain-relieving medicine that can be ingested by piglets through her milk – may be an effective means of providing analgesia. Results indicated maternal delivery of firocoxib to suckling piglets before tail docking and castration could safely reduce processing-induced stress and enhance production by increasing weaning weights. (Animal Pharm)

• US – MUMS FUNDING According to the FDA, around 84% of the agency’s minor uses/minor species (MUMS) grants since 2004 have funded projects to develop drugs for aquaculture. Of the remaining projects funded, about 12% were to develop companion animal cancer treatments for various tumors. The remainder of projects were for goats and pheasants. The MUMS grant program has provided over $4 million in support of 61 studies since 2004. (Animal Pharm)


Last week I commented on the rise of AI and machine learning applications in animal health. The example that grabbed my attention was the press release from Aquabyte, a start-up that uses underwater stereoscopic cameras and machine learning algorithms to determine fish size, general health, and optimal feed quantities resulting in less waste, shorter time to market weight, and greater profitability. As I read that press release I remember thinking, that’s great, what a fantastic tool, but what about feed quality? That’s a big part of the equation as well.

Well this week, right on cue, we have some really interesting announcements related to aquaculture, fish feed and disease prevention. Calysta announced it received a $30m investment from BP Ventures to expand production of FeedKind, a novel single cell protein that has demonstrated greater growth rates and increased feed efficacy from fish and crustacean feeds containing the protein. The use of FeedKind dramatically reduces the need for protein from conventional animal sources. Calstya says the single cell protein, composed of naturally occurring microorganisms is produced by natural gas fermentation, uses no arable land, very little water, and contains no animal protein. In other words, using this protein source contributes greatly to increased feed efficiency, lower cost of production, and greater profitability. This FeedKind production method may also come with the added benefit of being more environmentally friendly than conventional feed protein production and processing methods.

In a similar vein, with a twist, Cargill and InnovaFeed announced they will co-market a fish feed containing insect protein. InnovaFeed uses the by-products of starch and sugar production to feed black soldier fly larvae. The larvae are processed later in the black soldier fly life cycle and the extracted oil and protein are used as a protein source in fish and other livestock feeds. This seems to fit, hand in glove, with the reports we’ve all seen that tout insect protein as the protein of the future, with the potential to be a dominant protein source for a good portion of the Earth’s growing population. Insect protein production may also be more environmentally friendly. I’m in Cargill and InnovaFeed’s corner on this one. Personally, I much prefer my food consuming insect protein rather than consuming it myself!

Lastly, continuing with the aquaculture theme, I noted that 84% of the funding under the FDA Minor Uses/Minor Species (MUMS) grants program was directed to aquaculture drug development projects aimed at reducing mortality in various finfish species. That is an astonishing percentage of the total allocation! The remainder was allocated to the very broad category of canine cancer. I wonder, with tongue somewhat firmly implanted in cheek, if there will ever come a day when the combination of increased production and decreased mortality makes finfish species no longer eligible for MUMS consideration.

Mike McGinley

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"Brakke Consulting Animal Health News & Notes” provides a summary of relevant articles, as well as the Brakke Consulting Viewpoint on the news and major industry meetings. The newsletter is available at no charge to individuals involved in the animal health industry.
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