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Animal Health News & Notes for July 9, 2004 7/9/2004

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 Brakke Consulting's
 Animal Health News & Notes for July 9, 2004

 Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
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IN THE NEWS:
 
other news:
ABAXIS
AGEN
Banfield
Bioniche
Cross Vetpharm
Equine Biodiagnostics
G.C. Hanford
IDEXX
Merial
Meow Mix
Neogen
Orchid BioSciences
Parnell Labs
Synbiotics (ABAXIS)
Synbiotics (AGEN)
Virbac
VPL
Wysong
 
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COMPANY NEWS RELEASES
 
>  IDEXX Laboratories, in conjunction with Equine Biodiagnostics Inc, announced two new tests that allow equine veterinarians to detect and confirm the respiratory infection Streptococcus equi, and quantify their patients' antibody levels.  The S. equi PCR and Culture ID test can reduce the time needed to identify and isolate infected horses.  The test is complemented by the S. equi ELISA test, which measures antibody levels.  (Veterinary Practice News)  
 
> Neogen announced the development the Reveal AccuScan System, the only lateral flow test reader available on the market. AccuScan provides an easy method to objectively read, store, and analyze results from Neogen’s Reveal line of lateral flow tests for Listeria, E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, GMOs, mycotoxins, food allergens and ruminant material in animal feed. The AccuScan lateral flow reader eliminates the subjectivity that can exist with interpreting the lateral flow devices, and provides a permanent result that can be incorporated into a company’s food safety plan, such as HACCP. (company press release)   
 
>  The FDA amended the animal drug regulations to reflect approval of an abbreviated new animal drug application (ANADA) filed by Parnell Laboratories Pty Ltd of Australia.  The ANADA provides for the veterinary prescription used of cloprostenol sodium injectable solution in cattle for manipulation of the estrous cycle.  (AnimalNet - Federal Register) 
 
>  The FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine provided notice that it has approved an original abbreviated new animal drug application (ANADA) filed by Cross Vetpharm Group, Ltd.  The ANADA provides for the veterinary prescription use of oxytocin injectable solution in ewes, sows, cows and horses.  (AnimalNet - Federal Register)    
 
>  The FDA amended the animal drug regulations to reflect approval of an abbreviated new animal drug application (ANADA) filed by G.C. Hanford Manufacturing Co.  The ANADA provides for the use of penicillin G potassium in the drinking water of turkeys for the treatment of erysipelas caused by Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae.  (AnimalNet - Federal Register)       
 
>  Synbiotics Corp. announced that it has entered into a Co-Promotion Agreement with ABAXIS Inc. The two companies are offering incentives to veterinary clinics currently utilizing both the Witness HW canine heartworm antigen test and the VetScan in-clinic chemistry analyzer, as well as any new customers that purchase both products during the co-promotional period. The co-promotion begins on July 12, 2004, and will be available to all qualified veterinary practices in the US. (company press release)   
 
>  Veterinary Products Laboratories (VPL) has introduced an easier way to apply its patented Tissumend II, the only synthetic, absorbable surgical tissue adhesive available to veterinarians.  The reusable Tissumend II MicroDose syringe fits the Tissumend II pipette and gives the veterinary surgeon more control over the delivery of the tissue adhesive. (company press release)   
 
>  Virbac Corp. announced that its Omegaderm  essential fatty acid supplement, used as an aid for managing itchy dogs and cats, is now available in convenient daily-dose packets.  (company press release)   
 
>  Merial announced a partnership with renowned racehorse trainer Todd Pletcher to build awareness of GastroGard for the treatment of stomach ulcers in horses.  Pletcher, who himself has witnessed the effects of ulcers in horses and the benefits of GastroGard in healing them, will serve as an official supporter and spokesman of the product. (company press release)   
 
>  AGEN Biomedical and Synbiotics announced that they have agreed to a settlement resolving the litigation regarding patent and contractual matters which commenced in September 2003.  Neither party admitted any liability and both will make application to the respective courts to have their respective cases dismissed with prejudice.  Settlement terms were not disclosed.  (company press release)   
 
>  Banfield, The Pet Hospital, announced it awarded doctors profit sharing bonuses for fiscal year 2003. The profit sharing pool was more than $1.15 million dollars and individual profit sharing bonuses as high as $6,500 were awarded to doctors as part of Banfield’s Deferred Compensation Plan-A tax advantaged supplemental retirement plan for doctors.  (company press release)
 
>  Wysong Corporation has launched an a provocative advertising campaign asking, "Does America owe an apology to its pets?"  The campaign claims that while more and more pet owners are feeding their pets "100% complete" premium pet foods, the incidence of age-related pet illnesses is nearing epidemic levels. According to Wysong founder Randy Wysong, DVM, the answer is to better emulate pets' natural diets. The Wysong Diet stresses freshness and variety and features fresh, unprocessed or minimally processed foods and nutrient-replenishing supplements. The campaign is being rolled out market-by-market, beginning in Maine in mid June. (PRNewswire)  
 
>  The Meow Mix Company is sponsoring The Meow Mix Gold Medal Games, an eight-city tour where cat lovers compete in a variety of fun events, all based around the theme of "keeping cats happy".  Meow Mix is sing the Gold Medal Games as a platform to promote cat adoption, and will parnter with a local animal shelter or foster group in each city.  (Pet Business)   
 
>  CANADA   Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. announced that it has received approval from the Canadian Veterinary Drugs Directorate to sell its proprietary product, Enhance, for intra-articular injection in horses. Enhance is a sterile sodium hyaluronate solution used to treat synovitis and/or osteoarthrosis. Enhance is already on the market in Australia, and the company intends to register these claims in other jurisdictions as well. (company website)
 
>  UK   Orchid BioSciences announced that it has completed DNA testing of its one millionth sheep for scrapie susceptibility.  Since 2001, Orchid has been a major supplier of genotyping services offered to UK sheep farmers under the government's National Scrapie Plan, which is designed to help farmers breed sheep with reduced susceptibility to scrapie. Orchid recently announced that the UK government has renewed the company's scrapie genotyping contract for an additional two years.  (AnimalNet)  
 
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ANIMAL HEALTH NEWS
 
>  CHINA - AVIAN INFLUENZA   China reported a new outbreak of avian influenza this week on a farm in eastern China's Anhui province.  Authorities killed all poultry within two miles of the affected farm and vaccinated poultry within three miles in an effort to curb the disease. Since the farm is in an isolated area and the birds were hatched locally, agriculture experts believe migrating birds introduced the disease. (Meating Place)
 
>  THAILAND - AVIAN INFLUENZA  Thailand's deputy agriculture minister reported a suspected new outbreak of avian influenza at a farm in a central province where thousands of chickens have died.  The outbreak would be the second since the government declared on May 14 that it was all but certain the country was free of the disease.  (AnimalNet - AP)   
 
>  US - VESICULAR STOMATITIS   Texas, New Mexico and now Colorado have confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS).  Colorado State Veterinarian has reported that test have confirmed infection in two head of cattle and two horses in southeastern Colorado, and a horse in the central part of the state.  Infected animals and their susceptible herdmates are restricted to their premises under a short-term quarantine to prevent potential disease transmission. (AnimalNet - TAHC)  
 
>  SWITZERLAND - BSE   A dwarf zebu at a zoo in Switzerland has been found to be infected with BSE.  Zebus, a type of humped cattle found in Africa and India, were previously thought to be immune to BSE. The 18-year-old animal, which was born and reared in the zoo, is thought to have contacted the disease by eating contaminated bone meal before it was banned in Switzerland in 1990. The zebu was put down in April after it showed typical first neurological symptoms of BSE, including difficulty standing and walking. (Meating Place)
 
>  MEXICO - TRADE AGREEMENT   Mexico’s president Vicente Fox told an Argentine newspaper that his country now wants to join Mercosur, a trade block that includes full members Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and associate members Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. He pointed to trade agreements with Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay as evidence of Mexico’s commitment to the region.  Mexico is petitioning for associate membership. Brazil and Chile support Mexico’s membership. However, some countries want Mexico to sign a full free trade agreement before joining. (Wattnet Meatnews)
 
>  US - TRACEABILITY   McDonald's Corp reportedly aims to have at least 10% of its US beef purchases traceable from farm to table by year-end as an added assurance of food safety for its customers. The company added that it will continue over the next few years to increase the amount of traceable animal ID products that it buys, and at some point in the not-too-distant future, all its animal products will be from animals that are under an animal ID program.  (Meating place)
 
>  US - DIAGNOSTICS  Veterinary neurologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Veterinary Medicine's teaching hospital are now using CT scans to determine exactly where to insert a biopsy needle for a sample of a brain tumor in an animal. Although common in human medicine, the method is used in only a few pet hospitals around the country. (AP)
 
>  US - AKC ALLIANCE   The American Kennel Club and Bank One introduced a new AKC Rewards Visa credit card.  Members can choose from 35 popular dog breeds to adorn their credit card, and may also choose to have their dog's name embossed on the card.  According to a press release, a contribution to the AKC will be made with the new AKC Rewards Visa card.  (Pet Business)   
 
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BRAKKE CONSULTING VIEWPOINT
 
The first half of the year has gone by very rapidly.  We're looking forward to the company reports on their first half performance over the next few weeks.
 
It is interesting to note that new diagnostics, generic approvals, and more disease outbreaks make up most of this week's news.  If you haven't noticed, every recent edition of the newsletter has had one or more announcements on new diagnostics.  We've been saying for several years that innovative new diagnostics will be one of the leading growth areas in animal health.  Whether it's companion animal or food animal, the need for easy to use, rapid and accurate diagnostics will play a larger and larger role in animal health in the future. 
 
Have a great weekend.
 
Ron Brakke
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