The Experts in Animal Health

Animal Health News & Notes for October 30, 2020

Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for October 30, 2020
Copyright © Brakke Consulting

Editor: Lynn Fondon DVM MBA


Brakke News
2020 Flea, Tick and Heartworm Products report – pre-order now

Earnings News
PetMed Express

Other News
BC Partners
Better Choice Company
Boehringer Ingelheim
Chewy (PetSmart)
Chewy (telemedicine)
Henke-Sass, Wolf
PetSmart (Chewy)
PetSmart (Canada)


Are you on top of the trends in the largest market segment in companion animal health?  Brakke Consulting will soon be publishing our 2020 report on the US Flea Control and Heartworm Markets.

The report includes valuable information on the US market for small animal parasiticides including:
– Product descriptions, prices (veterinarian cost and online pricing), and sales for the leading veterinary flea, tick and heartworm products
– an overview of the veterinary and OTC flea control markets
– discussion of new product launches, including SIMPARICA TRIO, BRAVECTO PLUS, BRAVECTO 1-MONTH, and GENERIC SELAMECTIN PRODUCTS
– 2020 survey of 300+ veterinarians
– 2020 survey of 500 pet owners

The report on the US Flea Control & Heartworm Markets will be available for a purchase price of $7,495 if ordered by FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, and $7,995 after that date.

Please contact Dr. Lynn Fondon at 336-396-3916 or to pre-order the report, or for more information visit our website.


  • Merck announced financial results for the third quarter of 2020. Animal Health sales totaled $1.2 billion in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 9% compared with the third quarter of 2019; excluding the unfavorable effect from foreign exchange, Animal Health sales grew 12%. (company press release)
  • IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. announced results for the third quarter of 2020. Revenues were $722 million, an increase of 19% on a reported and 18% on an organic basis. Net income was $146 million, an increase of 34% compared to the prior-year quarter.  Companion Animal Group revenue was $638 million, an increase of 20%. (company press release)
  • PetMed Express, Inc. announced its financial results for the quarter of 2020. Net sales were $75.4 million, an increase of 8% compared to the prior-year quarter. Net income was $8.4 million, a 26% increase compared to the comparable prior-year period. Reorder sales increased 9.6%. (Globenewswire)


  • Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health announced a collaboration with Henke-Sass, Wolf (HSW) to develop a needle-free injection device for pigs. The device, which is expected to be available beginning in December 2020 in most countries, will be called FreVAX through Boehringer and EPIG as part of HSW. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • BC Partners announced it is splitting PetSmart and Chewy back into two companies. The group plans to recapitalize PetSmart with $1.3 billion of equity and $4.65 billion of debt raised from institutional money managers. All of PetSmart’s remaining shares in Chewy will be distributed to the BC Partners-led group, which will operate Chewy as a wholly separate business. The new structure will result in a smaller debt load relative to earnings as well as longer maturities for PetSmart, which will continue to focus on its brick-and-mortar locations. (GlobalPets)
  • Neogen Corporation announced the launch of Igenity Feeder, a DNA tool designed to assist cattle producers in the stocker and backgrounder phase to rank and manage feeder cattle according to their genetic potential for carcass traits. (company press release)
  • Chewy Inc. announced a new telehealth service called “Connect With a Vet,” that allows pet parents and veterinarians to leverage the company’s proprietary tele-triage platform. With this service, Chewy makes it possible for pet parents to connect directly with a licensed veterinarian to get answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, to receive advice, discuss concerns they might have regarding the health and wellness of their pet, and get referrals to their local vets or emergency clinics. According to the release, the vets are not diagnosing medical conditions, providing treatment, or prescribing medications. (company press release)
  • The U.S. Department of Justice, at the request of the FDA, has filed a complaint against for injunction against Med-Pharmex alleging violations of current good manufacturing practice. Med-Pharmex offered this statement in response, “We are disappointed by the decision to file this complaint based on an inspection that took place nearly 18 months ago.  This inspection took place in early May 2019, and since then, Med-Pharmex has invested tremendous resources in not only specifically remediating the initial findings, but also in enhancing its entire quality and control process. As this matter is now regrettably in litigation, it is not appropriate to comment further on the action.” (company press release)
  • Nutravet announced the launch of Nutramarin+, a triple action formula to naturally support and maintain healthy liver function in dogs and cats. (
  • Better Choice Company announced the closing of its third and final tranche of Series F equity capital. Cumulative funding totals $21.7M, with third round being anchored by consumer packaged goods (CPG) specialist Cambridge SPG. Management and Board members have committed more than $11M to the total financing and will own more than 50% of the Company on a fully diluted basis. (Globe Newswire)
  • Vytelle announced the exclusive licensing of the Synomics Insights Platform to increase the accuracy of predicting cattle performance using phenotype and genomics data. (company press release)
  • VolitionRx announced that it will launch its first commercial product, the Nu.Q Vet Cancer Screening Test, by the end of this year. The diagnostic is designed to detect cancer in dogs by measuring nucleosome levels in the blood. (IHS Markit Connect)
  • CANADA PetSmart Canada announced it will offer on-demand, same-day delivery service powered exclusively through DoorDash. (GlobalPets)



  • NETHERLANDS – AVIAN INFLUENZA Dutch animal health authorities announced a cull of 35,700 broiler chickens after an outbreak of a highly contagious strain of bird flu at a poultry farm in the eastern village of Altforst. Animals are also being examined for avian flu in nine other poultry farms within a three-kilometer radius of the affected farm and a transport ban has been imposed in a 10-kilometer zone. (
  • US – CONFERENCE DATES The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) announced it has decided to move the 2021 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show to Aug. 10-12, 2021. Both the convention and trade show will continue to take place at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Feedstuffs)
  • US – DOG SHOWS The 145th Westminster Kennel Club dog show has announced it will be a fresh-air affair. Normally, the long-running dog show is a February event that takes place over several days at Piers 92 and 94 and Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. In 2021, the show will be moved to the grounds of the Lyndhurst Estate in Tarrytown, New York. (APPA enews)

While it did not make the news headlines, two pioneers of the US animal health industry died earlier this week; Wes Remington and Dr. Bob Hummel.  Wes, who had been in declining health the last few years. Wes started his career at Anchor Serum as a sales rep and advanced to the position of President until it was sold to Boehringer Ingelheim.  He then started a number of companies, including Med-Tech (which later became Tech America); Agri Laboratories; Phoenix Scientific, one of the first companies to manufacture off-patent animal drugs; Phoenix Pharmaceuticals (known today as Clipper Distributing); and Pete and Mac’s Pet Resorts.  Wes was instrumental in the passing of the federal generic animal drug bill in 1984. In the later years of his career, Wes was a very philanthropic individual for the animal health industry; and he was a key financial supporter of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor at its founding.  On a more personal note, Wes provided significant financial support and information to the production of “The U.S. Animal Health Industry Book” that Brakke Consulting published for the industry in 2009.  I so enjoyed the interesting interviews and discussions with Wes regarding his memories of the animal health industry.

Robert Hummel DVM began his career in 1961 as a Technical Service Veterinarian with American Cyanamid Company.   In 1967, Bob Co-founded Great Plains Chemical Company (later changed to Lextron), which became one of the largest Animal Health distributors in the U.S with an emphasis towards the food animal protein segment. After a merger with Walco, the company name was changed to Animal Health International and was later sold to Patterson Companies.  Bob retired following the sale at the young age of 78. Bob also had many investments outside of animal health, including a number of small banks throughout the Midwest.  For those who knew Bob and worked with him as a competitor and customer, there were many stories of interactions when things did not go the way he thought they should.  In my interviews with Bob during the production of “The U.S. Animal Health Industry History Book” he had nothing but admiration for the business Willard Wall had built (Walco) and he competed with aggressively.

These two individuals were business entrepreneurs in the true meaning of the word and their actions have made significant impacts on the animal health industry.  I was blessed to be able to know each of them during my career in animal health.

Ron Brakke

Last week we asked “When will you be ready to attend – IN PERSON – a trade show or any kind of professional meeting, whether for the purpose of selling or of continuing education?” Almost 30% of you said you’re ready now.  On the other hand, 36% said “when a vaccine is available”, which could be awhile for the general populace. 20% of you said some time in 2021, and 15% aren’t sure.  Looks like virtual conferences and meetings are going to be with us for a while.

This week

We are now three quarters into 2020.  For some, the year has offered opportunities, while others have struggled with the unique challenges the year has brought. 

How do you think your company will look back on 2020; has it been a struggle or an opportunity?

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