» 2003

Animal Health News & Notes for March 28, 2003 3/28/2003

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for March 28, 2003
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
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COMPANY EARNINGS RELEASES

>  Ceva Sante Animale reported year-end results for 2002 were 210.5 million euros ($221 million), an increase of 10% compared to 2001.  The animal health division reported sales of 200 million euros ($210 million), an increase of 12.4% compared to 2001. Total Operating results were 19 million euros ($20 million), an increase of 16.9% compared to 2001. (company communication)

>  Neogen Corporation announced that net income for the third quarter of its 2003 fiscal year, which ended Feb. 28, was 25% higher than the previous year’s third quarter, increasing to $1.03 million. Year-to-date net income was up 24% to $3.5 million.  Neogen’s third quarter revenues were $11.1 million, the first time the Company’s third quarter revenues have exceeded $10 million, and 15% greater than last year’s comparable quarter. Revenues for the Company’s first nine months were $34.3 million compared to $30.1 million in the prior year. (company website)

>  Evialis reported that turnover for the year 2002 decreased by 1% to 738 million euros ($775 million).  The company was affected by a downturn in the French market, economic difficulties in Brazil and a weak market in Poland.  Problems in France were partially offset by new acquisitions, including that of Agribrands Europe France.  On a like-for-like basis, Evialis’ turnover declined by 5.5%. (Animal Pharm)

>  ConAgra reported sales for its third fiscal quarter ended February 23, 2003 fell to $4.4 billion from $6.2 billion, largely due to the sale of the beef and pork business. The company’s net income was $161 million, down from $171 million a year earlier.  The company cited lower poultry volumes, the sale of its fresh pork and beef operations in September, and higher advertising costs for packaged foods as reasons for the lower earnings. (Wattnet Meatnews)

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COMPANY NEWS RELEASES

>   Pfizer Inc. announced it expects to close its acquisition of Pharmacia Corp. next month, now that the Federal Trade Commission has approved a compromise plan, allaying antitrust concerns.  Pfizer said FTC staffers will submit the proposed plan to higher-ups in the agency for approval. The details will then become public.  The two drug companies said last week they had agreed on terms with FTC staff on asset sales required to conclude their merger. The companies said they had contracts in place for the sales but didn't disclose details.  (AP)

>  The Iams Co. suspended work with a research laboratory accused by an animal-rights group of mistreating dogs and cats, pending an investigation of the lab's procedures. Iams said nutritional studies being conducted for the company at the lab may have violated the company's research policy. (AP)

>  Lallemand Animal Nutrition announced the signing of an agreement with AgTech Products Inc. to develop the next generation of microbial feed additives.  Lallemand has committed significant resources to develop a rapid testing model for identifying effective probiotic strains and characterizing their function for specific application in beef feedlot cattle.  Terms were not disclosed. (Feedstuffs)

>  Intervet launched Liberty, an equine insecticide available through veterinarians.  Liberty kills and repels mosquitoes, ticks and flies for up to two weeks.  The active ingredient in the spot-on product is permethrin.  (Veterinary Practice News)

>  Neogen Corporation announced the acquisition of Adgen Ltd, a private company based in Scotland. Since its founding in 1994, Adgen has been a major distributor of Neogen products in Europe, as well as a producer and marketer of its own agricultural diagnostic testing products.  Adgen's revenues in its most recently completed fiscal year, ended Sept. 30, 2002, were approximately $1.6 million (U.S.). Financial terms were not disclosed.  (company website)

>  Novartis Animal Health teamed up with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) to launch the "Driving Excellence in Veterinary Practice" Road Show. The driving force behind this educational program is an 18-wheel semi-truck, specially designed as a portable teaching facility. This school on wheels is visiting veterinary events, veterinary colleges and public venues nationwide.  According to AAHA estimates, "Driving Excellence in Veterinary Practice" will cross 25,000 miles of road in 2003 and into 2004, and will attract and educate more than 100,000 people this spring alone. (company press release)

>  A federal jury acquitted Tyson Foods and three managers of hiring illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America as part of a nationwide conspiracy to boost production and profits. The jury deliberated for less than a day before acquitting on all changes. Since the case began, the U.S. District Judge dismissed 24 of 36 charges stemming from a three-year undercover investigation of Tyson Foods. Remaining were charges of transporting illegal immigrants, providing illegal immigrants with fraudulent documents, and conspiracy. (Meating Place)

>  eMerge Interactive announced that Excel Corp. has entered into an equipment and technology license agreement for eMerge’s first commercial VerifEYE Carcass Inspection System to be installed in a plant in Nebraska.  The plant, which processes over 1 million head of cattle annually, has played an important role the past 12 months in helping eMerge finalize production specifications. License terms were not disclosed. (company press release)

>  Embrex, Inc. announced two key U.S. patents issued recently by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One patent relates to a method of determining the gender of a bird in ovo (in the egg); the second relates to a method for localizing the allantoic fluid of avian eggs. Currently, broiler breeders, layers and turkeys are sorted by gender after hatch. (company press release)

>  Embrex, Inc. began construction of a new biological manufacturing facility in North Carolina. The facility will be used to manufacture the company's Inovocox in ovo coccidiosis vaccine upon approval from the USDA.  (company press release)

>  Central Garden Pet Company announced that its TFH/Nylabone subsidiary received the "Best New Dog Product Award" for its patented Chew & Brush Edible Bone at the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association's (APPMA) annual meeting/convention in Atlanta, Georgia.  TFH/Nylabone also received an award for its Big Chews for Big Dogs Bones Point of Purchase Display. In addition, Central's Kaytee Products subsidiary received an award for its new line of bird cages, and All-Glass Aquarium received an award for its Geneva line of aquarium stands.  (Business Wire)

>  National PetCare Centers announced the opening of a new hospital in Colorado that it expects will be a prototype for future new hospitals.  The hospital is developing operating models and guidelines, which will be used to help the chain start other hospitals around the country.  (Veterinary Practice News)

>  Oster Professional Products announced the launch of a new line of equine grooming products.  Called the Equine Care Series, the product line marks Oster’s first foray into the equine market.  (Veterinary Practice News)

>  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office dismissed a legal challenge to three Advanced Cell patents by competitor Infigen Inc., ruling that Infigen waited too long to file its claim.  Advanced Cell faces another legal challenge from Menlo Park-based Geron Corp., which owns the technology that cloned Dolly the Sheep. Geron contends that since Dolly was the first animal cloned, it owns exclusive rights to commercialize the technology. Geron's case against Advanced Cell is pending before the patent office. (AP)

>  Lifeline BioTechnologies Inc. announced the acquisition of an interest in Biotran LLC. Biotran has exclusive worldwide rights for distribution of immune modulating products developed by Immune Technologies Inc. I-MOD ER, the first of a series of species-specific products, has been approved by the USDA for equine respiratory problems.  Biotran has begun shipping the equine products. The operating profits from the joint venture, under the terms of the agreement, are allocated to Lifeline. (Business Wire)

>  Applied Veterinary Genomics Inc. announced its agreement with William Waldroff for an exclusive world-wide equine license utilizing the patented intercellular expression system developed by CytoGenix Inc.  Waldroff is an avid breeder and owner of thoroughbred racehorses, and also a longtime investor in CytoGenix.  Waldroff obtained an exclusive license to the CYGX technology for nonhuman applications several years ago. The AVGI long-term business plan includes a full line of veterinary products for companion animals. Equine applications are the initial target for AVGI's genomic product development. (Business Wire)

>  OXIS International, Inc. announced the creation of the OXIS Animal Health Profiling Scientific Advisory Committee. The committee was formed to assist and guide the Company in evaluating its oxidative stress screening tests for the profiling of cattle's susceptibility to disease. The Scientific Advisory Committee's focus will be to enhance, develop and analyze OXIS' technology relative to the profiling of cattle susceptibility to disease. (Business Wire)

>  JAPAN   Bayer announced the launch of Advantage Heart in Japan, containing imidacloprid and ivermectin.  The topical spot-on product is approved for the control of heartworms and fleas in dogs. (Animal Pharm)

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ANIMAL AGRICULTURE ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES STAKEHOLDERS SUMMIT       MAY 12 – 14, 2003

The Animal Agriculture Alliance announced its second industry-wide Stakeholders Summit.  This two-day conference, “Challenges to the US Animal Protein Businesses: Domestic and International Responses, Risks and Repositioning,” is scheduled for May 12th – 14th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Crystal City, Virginia. In cooperation with Brakke Consulting, Inc. and Rabobank International, the Summit is targeted at senior management of all companies involved from “farm to fork.”  Summit registration and hotel information is available on the Alliance website at http://www.animalagalliance.org/main/home.cfm?Section=2nd%20Summit%202003&Category=ConferencesEvents

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is a broad-based coalition of individual producers, producer organizations, private industry, packer-processors and retailers, whose mission is to support and promote animal agriculture practices that provide for farm animal well-being through sound science and public information.

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ANIMAL HEALTH NEWS

>  UK   At least three dozen cattle have been culled in Scotland following an outbreak of bovine brucellosis.  Cattle have also been diagnosed with brucellosis in Northern Ireland.  These are the first cases of brucellosis in the UK since 1993.  (Animal Pharm)

>  US   Poultry exhibitions, already canceled at state and county fairs, have been formally banned statewide in California in an effort to stem the spread of Newcastle disease decimating Southern California flocks. That ban, initially limited to eight Southern California counties, places restrictions on poultry sales at swap meets, feed stores and the like. Officials fear public displays of numbers of birds, such as chicks associated with the Easter holiday, pose a risk of spreading exotic Newcastle disease. (AnimalNet – Knight Ridder Tribune)

>  US   Legislation proposing to elevate the status of pets from property to companions in Colorado was withdrawn shortly after its introduction in January.  Under the legislation, pet owners could have sued veterinarians and animal abusers for up to $100,000 for loss of companionship.  The bill’s sponsor reportedly withdrew the bill because he didn’t feel the state was ready for the change.  (JAVMA)

>  A research team lead found that dietary ionophores have little benefit on Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 in cattle. The researchers reported their findings in the Journal of Applied Microbiology.  (Wattnet Meatnews)

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BRAKKE CONSULTING VIEWPOINT

This week’s news items highlight some trends that have been developing for several years.  If you don’t watch carefully, the world can change on you.  Here are some examples:  With the maturation of the flea and heartworm prevention markets, companies will look to value-added services and programs to differentiate their products.  Major brands will also have to account for their policies and actions with regard to animal welfare.  Genetics and in-ovo technology move the diagnosis and treatment of food animals further away from animal health companies’ usual customers.  Corporate groups of veterinary clinics have begun to exhaust the stock of attractive acquisitions and are now starting their own. 

One way to prepare for these changes is to keep in touch with those of us who track trends over periods longer than a year.  Another way is to constantly expand your tools available for analyzing the situation.  Watch this space for news on our latest informative seminar.

John Mannhaupt, Dallas

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