The Experts in Animal Health

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for May 26, 2023
Copyright © Brakke Consulting
Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA

Brakke Consulting News
Animal Health Jobs

Earnings News
PetMed Express

Other News
Air Protein
Riley Financial, Inc.
Dalan Animal Health
Decathlon Capital Partners
Franchise Group
Halo Collar
ILC Therapeutics
Irradiant Partners
J.H. Whitney & Co
Pet Supplies Plus
Plandai Biotechnology
Tevra Brands
Wag ‘N Wash
Wisdom Panel


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  • PetMed Express, Inc. announced its financial results for its fiscal year ended March 31, 2023. Net sales were $257 million, a decrease of 6.1% compared to the prior year. Net income was $233,000 compared to net income of $21.1 million for the prior fiscal year. Adjusted EBITDA was $19.8 million, a decrease of 42% compared to the prior fiscal year. (seekingalpha)
  • Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc. announced financial results for its first quarter of fiscal 2023 ended April 29, 2023. Net revenue was $1.56 billion, up 5.4% versus prior year. Net loss was $(1.9) million compared to net income of $24.7 million in the prior year. (company press release)


  • ByoPlanet, a leading provider of advanced disinfection solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of Plandai Biotechnology, announced a comprehensive one-year distribution agreement with Merck Animal Health to distribute Merck’s Armatrex antimicrobial solution. (accesswire)
  • Tevra Brands has alleged in a lawsuit that it has lost tens of millions of dollars in sales of its generic flea and tick pet medications because Bayer Animal Health conspired to maintain a monopoly over Advantage II and K9 Advantix II. According to the lawsuit, Bayer prevented the company from reaching pet owners where they’re most likely to shop, including big-box stores like PetSmart and Petco and online pet pharmacies like Chewy and PetMed Express. (Vet AdvantageUSA Today)
  • IAMS has partnered with Wisdom Panel to create personalized nutrition recommendations based on a pet’s genetics. To participate in the program, pet parents must purchase and complete a Wisdom Panel Test, then go to a dedicated website to take a quiz and input select information from their pet’s Wisdom Panel results. The IAMS Food Finder provides a personalized nutrition recommendation along with proactive tips and tricks. (Pet Business)
  • The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced a new Certificate in Professional Development and Personal Wellness. The online course, which will help learners to create a career development roadmap and develop strategies to safeguard their wellbeing, will be available later this year. (association press release)
  • Dalan Animal Health, Inc. announced its first shipment of its honeybee vaccine to a commercial beekeeper in California. The vaccine is indicated to protect honeybees against the devastating American Foulbrood disease caused by the bacteria Paenibacillus larvae. (Businesswire)
  • US pet-food manufacturer Alphia is reportedly exploring future options including a potential sale of the business that could value the company at more than $1 billion. Alphia, which is owned by H. Whitney & Co, was formed out of the merger of pet-food manufacturers C.J. Foods and American Nutrition in 2020. (
  • Dearbuds introduced Dearbuds Pet Edition, a digital device measures that ear humidity in cats and dogs quietly, with speed and accuracy. The device monitors ear humidity and temperature, using this information to adjust to optimal conditions to keep pets’ ears healthy. (DVM360)
  • Walmart is partnering with veterinary telehealth provider Pawp to offer Walmart+ subscribers free access to virtual veterinarians for a year. Pawp’s annual membership typically starts at $99. (CNBC)
  • ADM and Air Protein, a pioneer in air-based nutritional protein that requires no agriculture or farmland, have entered into a strategic development agreement to collaborate on research and development to further advance new and novel proteins for nutrition. Prior to entering the agreement, ADM has served as a supporter of Air Protein through investment of Series A and SAFE funding. (Feed Strategy)
  • Halo Collar, a GPS wireless dog fence, has landed a multi-million dollar growth funding package from Decathlon Capital Partners. Details of the revenue-based funding transaction were not disclosed. (Pet Product News)
  • VetPawer announced the launch of AVA Chat, powered by OpenAI GPT-3. The artificial intelligence service aims to provide accurate, contextually appropriate data to clients on general veterinary topics, practice specifics, and their pet’s information on file. It automatically schedules appointments, refills prescriptions, and more. The service can be delivered via a chat on the practice’s website or by email, and directly through the practice’s phone using AVA Voice. (DVM360)
  • Franchise Group, the parent company of Pet Supplies Plus, Wag ‘N Wash and other franchises, has entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger pursuant to which members of the senior management team of Franchise Group, in financial partnership with a consortium that includes Riley Financial, Inc., and Irradiant Partners, will acquire the approximately 64 percent of the company’s issued and outstanding common stock that the management group does not presently own or control. The transaction has an enterprise value of approximately $2.6 billion, including the company’s net debt and outstanding preferred stock. (Pet Product news)
  • Cryopets, a Utah startup that intends to preserve pets at deep-freeze temperatures when they die with the aim of reviving them sometime in the future, received a $100,000 fellowship from billionaire investor Peter Thiel. The company’s waitlist has about 500 dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and a monkey. It also aims to establish a network of veterinary clinics providing regular checkups and emergency care. (Vet Advantage – Benzinga)
  • SCOTLAND Dechra and Scottish biotech firm ILC Therapeutics announced an R&D partnership to develop ILC’s Caniferon product to treat atopic dermatitis in dogs. (Businesswire)



  • US – BSE The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed an atypical case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy – the first case since 2018, and seventh overall – from a beef cow tested at a slaughter plant in South Carolina. The detection was made as part of APHIS’s routine surveillance of cattle deemed unsuitable for slaughter. (Beef Central)
  • BRAZIL – AVIAN INFLUENZA Brazil has declared a 180-day animal health emergency after several cases of avian flu were found in wild birds.  Seven cases have been reported in Espirito Santo state, with another discovered in Rio de Janeiro state. (BBC)
  • WORLD – AVIAN INFLUENZA The head of the World Organization for Animal Health (WOAH) has recommended that governments should consider vaccinating poultry against avian influenza to prevent the virus from turning into a new pandemic. WOAH is developing a resolution on the topic. The European Union’s 27 member states agreed last year to implement a bird flu vaccine strategy. However, a WOAH survey showed only 25% of its member states would accept imports of products from poultry vaccinated against HPAI. (ca)
  • US – MUMS GRANTS On May 26, 2023, the FDA will open a new period for applications for grants to support the development and potential approval or conditional approval of new animal drugs intended to treat uncommon diseases (minor uses) in major species (horses, dogs, cats, cattle, pigs, turkeys and chickens) or to treat minor species (MUMS drugs). Only animal drug sponsors with Designated MUMS animal drugs or their research partners are eligible to apply. More information is available at Minor Use/Minor Species (MUMS) Grants and How to Apply for a MUMS Grant. (FDA)

It’s becoming hard to avoid hearing about artificial intelligence (AI) and how every company has or will have a generative AI engine, which will cut costs and eliminate thousands and thousands of jobs.  Well, to quote Yogi Berra, It’s like déjà vu all over again.”

Back in 1982, John Naisbitt authored a book called “Megatrends” in which he chronicled ten new directions that were transforming our lives.  This was a time when we were transforming from an industrial era to an information era.  Apple, Tandy (Radio Shack) and Commodore all launched PCs in 1977 and IBM launched it’s more muscular PC in 1981.  I have always remembered this megatrend:  “High Tech/High Touch” – the more we become surrounded by high technology (or the more it is forced upon us), the more we value the human touch in our lives.

I feel like this is where we are with Chat GPT and its cousins: the more AI is forced upon us, the more we will value “High Touch” in our lives.  The animal health companies, including veterinary clinics, that will use AI to make their employees and customer experiences better – more personal, warmer – will be the winners in the long run.  The goal of this technology should be to make our lives richer, not so companies can reduce payrolls.  Remember, it’s all about people.

Bob Jones

Last week we asked about efficiency (is it down?) and compensation (is it unusually high?) in your organization.  The responses were essentially equally divided between the four choices: efficiency was down, compensation unusually higher; noticed inefficiencies but no unusual compensation; no inefficiencies, compensation unusually higher; and, had neither problem..

This week
This week, we would like to check in to see where your company is with the use of generative AI technology. Which of these statements do you feel best describes your company?

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