The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for May 21, 2021
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

Earnings News

Other News
Applied LifeSciences & Systems
Boehringer Ingelheim
Cal-Maine Foods
Ceres Tag
Creso Pharma
General Mills
Mars Petcare
Mountain Group Partners
NovaQuest Capital Management
Orion Animal Health
Red River Valley Egg Farm
Rose Acre Farms
Tyson Foodz
Vet Hero
Veterinary Hospitals Association
Virox Technologies
August 24-26, 2021
Location: Online
Registration is now open for the Digital Animal Health Summit.

Register today! The Digital Animal Health Summit features 27 hours of 1:1 business partnering, 8 LIVE programs, 10+ on-demand webinars and 10+ emerging company presentations. Learn more


  • Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc. announced its financial results for its first quarter ended May 1, 2021. Net revenue was $1.4 billion, an increase of 27% compared to the prior-year quarter. Net income increased $38.7 million to $7.6 million, inclusive of $20.8 million of non-cash charges related to the refinancing of the company’s term loan and revolving credit facility. Adjusted Net Income increased $60.0 million to $44.4 million. (company press release)
  • ImmuCell Corporation announced its unaudited financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2021. Total product sales decreased by 16% to $4.1 million. Net loss was $(441,000) in comparison to a net loss of $(122,000) during the prior-year quarter. (company press release)
  • Zooplus reported results for the first quarter of 2021. Group sales increased by 16% to EUR 509 million ($618 million). (GlobalPets)


  • PetDx announced that it is partnering with Petco to release OncoK9, a liquid biopsy that can detect cancer without any physical signs through a simple blood draw. OncoK9 works by detecting cancer at the DNA level and picking up alterations in the genome. The test will be available at Petco veterinary offices for the initial phase of the roll out. (AVMA SmartBrief –
  • Mars Petcare announced it has expanded its stake in Vetsource, becoming the lead investor. The size of the stake was not disclosed. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • Creso Pharma Ltd announced it has finalized the development of anibidiol swine, a new and innovative hemp flour and oat bran based complementary feed product to support stress reduction and wellbeing of pigs reared indoors and outdoors. (
  • Tyson Foods announced it is selling its natural pet treats business to General Mills Inc. for approximately $1.2 billion. The sale includes the Nudges, True Chews and Top Chews brands, as well as a production facility in Independence, Iowa. Tyson Foods will continue to provide meat ingredients for the pet treats business after General Mills assumes ownership. Sales generated by Tyson’s pet treat business totaled more than $240 million in the 12 months ended April 3, 2021. (Feedstuffs)
  • Funds advised by Apax announced a recent agreement with Nulo pet food to buy out its existing investor group, which includes CAVU Venture Partners and Main Post Partners. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. (Pet Age)
  • Veterinary Hospitals Association (VHA)and Virox Technologies announced a partnership wherein VHA will distribute Virox’s portfolio of Rescue Disinfectants to its members through its warehouse. (PRweb)
  • Vet2Pet announced the release of its client engagement and communication platform geared toward equine practices. (Vet Advantage)
  • Patterson Veterinary announced a partnership with communication and telemedicine software solutions specialist Vet Hero. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • VIS introduced the Consolidator Operating Framework (COF), a playbook for veterinary groups to systematize acquisition, integration, and improvement of practices with a special focus on burnout prevention. (company press release)
  • Cal-Maine Foods announced a definitive agreement to purchase the remaining 50% membership interest in Red River Valley Egg Farm LLC from Rose Acre Farms Inc. for $48.5 million. The entity will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Cal-Maine. (Feedstuffs)
  • Applied LifeSciences & Systems (ALSS) has secured $7 million from a series B equity financing round to speed up commercialization of its automated poultry vaccine delivery system. The funding round was co-led by Merck Animal Health and Mountain Group Partners (MGP), both of which supported ALSS’ $8 million series A fundraising in 2019. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • Argenta Limited and NovaQuest Capital Management announced a $30 million product financing agreement for the development of several innovative veterinary pharmaceuticals. Argenta and NovaQuest will look for commercialization partners as the project progresses. (
  • CHINA Boehringer Ingelheim announced that GastroGard (omeprazole oral paste) has been granted the Registration Certificate of Imported Veterinary Drug by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China. According to the company, it is the first equine drug approved to be imported into the China market. (company press release)
  • Orion Animal Health announced that it has received a positive opinion from the Committee for Medical Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Bonqat (pregabalin) for marketing authorization in the European Union. The compound is recommended for alleviation of acute anxiety and fear associated with transportation and veterinary visits in cats. Orion has also submitted a new animal drug application for pregabalin to the US FDA. (Globenewswire)
  • AUSTRALIA Ceres Tag announced that Pivotel has taken a 5% stake in the company. The start-up expects the investment to back the scale out of its recently launched livestock monitoring technology platform, and the final commercial development phases of its wildlife and companion animal monitoring platforms. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • UK Oxitec Ltd announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a grant for a feasibility project in collaboration with Clinglobal to develop an Oxitec self-limiting solution for the disease-spreading cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus. The cattle tick feasibility project joins the Oxitec pipeline of solutions being developed to deliver targeted biological control of pests using a self-limiting technology platform that has already been tested successfully around the world in trials and projects against major agricultural and public health pests. (PRNewswire)



  • US – VETERINARY TECHNICIANS The American Association of Veterinary State Boards has created “The Model Regulation—Scope of Practice for Veterinary Technicians and Veterinary Technologists,” a template for states to use as a resource when considering changes to their rules and regulations regarding veterinary technicians. Click here for more information (AVMA SmartBrief)

I am constantly amazed by the technology innovations in our industry. Last week, it was the launch of not one but two technologies for identifying lost pets – one from Iams using nose scans to ID lost dogs, and another from Petco using facial recognition technology. A few weeks ago, SynDaver – a company that develops and markets synthetic cadavers to be used, among other things, for surgical training – announced that they now offer a feline model for veterinary colleges.  The canine version was launched in 2016, and is in use at a number of US veterinary colleges.

Innovation requires not just creativity, but also funding to make it a reality.  It can be challenging to rise above the chatter and attract investors, but the Digital Animal Health Summit hosted by the KCADC is one of the few opportunities specifically targeted for animal health companies to do just that. It’s a unique opportunity for both start-ups and companies looking to identify development projects to bring into their portfolios.

 Lynn Fondon

Last week we asked about companies’ current positions on work location for employees who began working from home due to the pandemic.  33% of you said your company plans to offer a hybrid model with some combination of working at home and in the office on designated days of the week.  Another 21% said employees will be allowed to continue working remotely, coming to the office on an as-needed basis. One-quarter said there has been no announcement yet.  Only 8% said all employees have returned to their offices.  It sounds like our industry has embraced the remote working model, which should please many employees.

This week

According to the CDC, 60% of U.S. adults have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.  Although the AVMA annual convention remains online-only this summer, several conferences – including VMX, WVC and Fetch – are offering in-person events over the next few months.  How many of you are planning to attend an in-person conference before the end of the year?

Will you be attending an in-person conference this summer or fall? Check all that apply.

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