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Animal Health News & Notes for September 26, 2008 9/26/2008

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Brakke Consulting's
Animal Health News & Notes for September 26, 2008

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM, MBA
earnings news
other news
Fort Dodge
Merlin Digital Technology
Vitec Nutrition 
Throughout the year, Brakke Consulting, Inc., performs market research surveys and studies for client companies.  If your firm needs help assessing the feasibility of a new product or technology, identifying the opinions and trends of product consumers, or determining the current market for products, Brakke Consulting, Inc. can build a market study to meet your needs.  We have a database in place of several hundred small animal veterinarians and the ability to custom-tailor surveys of other animal health consumers.  We also produce syndicated studies in specific animal health market areas. Further information can be found at our website: www.BrakkeConsulting.com or by calling our Dallas office at 972.243.4033.
> Neogen Corporation that its revenues for the first quarter of FY 2009 ended Aug. 31 were $29 million, an increase of 26% from the previous year’s first quarter.  First quarter net income increased 24% to $3.7 million. Neogen’s Animal Safety Division reported a sales increase of 45% to $13 million, bolstered by the acquisitions of Kane veterinary products, Rivard detectable veterinary needles, and DuPont disinfectants.  (company press release)  
> Genus Plc reported its preliminary results for the year ended June 30, 2008.  Annual sales were GBP 247 million ($493 million) on an adjusted basis, a 6% increase over the prior year. Pretax profits were GBP 28 million ($56 million) for the full year, a 40% increase from the GBP 20 million reported in 2007. (TheDairySite.com, company website) 
> Pfizer announced that Bovi-Shield Gold vaccine is now approved for use as a single subcutaneous or intramuscular dose. The upgraded formulation of Bovi-Shield GOLD also includes a new virus to help prevent parainfluenza (PI3), in addition to protecting against bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), and bovine virus diarrhea (BVD) types 1 and 2. (Cattle Network)
> The board of directors of Alpharma Inc. again rejected the unsolicited bid for the company by King Pharmaceuticals Inc. and sent a letter to shareholders urging them not to tender their stock to King. The board, by unanimous vote, continued to say the offer, at $37 per share, or $1.6 billion, undervalued the company and was inadequate. Alpharma's CEO reported that the company has received "expressions of interest from multiple parties" since King first offered to buy the company, has confidentiality agreements in place with a number of those parties who have now started due diligence reviews and has received a preliminary indication of interest from one party that includes a price that exceeds King's $37 per share. (Feedstuffs) 
> Banfield, The Pet Hospital announced that it has sold Merlin Digital Technology to Eklin Medical Systems, Inc. and has entered into a strategic alliance with Eklin to develop digital imaging equipment for Banfield's network of hospitals across the country. Merlin Digital Technology, which was founded in 1991 under the name RemoteVet, sells digital ultrasound and radiography systems. All assets associated with Merlin's imaging products will be included in the sale to Eklin. Financial terms were not disclosed. (PRNewswire)
> Ridley Inc. announced that it has been advised by Ridley Corp. Ltd. (Ridley Australia), the company's 69% controlling shareholder, that Ridley Australia has agreed to sell its interest in the Ridley Inc. to Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. for a purchase price of $8.50 (Canadian) per share. The agreement between Ridley Australia and Fairfax is a private sale agreement to which Ridley Inc. is not a party. The sale is expected to be completed on Oct. 20, 2008; the company shall continue to operate as Ridley Inc. (Feedstuffs)  
> Lallemand Animal Nutrition announced the acquisition of animal nutrition company Vitec Nutrition Ltd. based in Auckland, New Zealand. This latest acquisition follows on the heels of Lallemand's integration of animal nutrition supplier Vitam International in South Africa earlier this year and Katec Agroteknika in Brazil a year ago. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Feedstuffs)
> EU  Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health announced the introduction of its newest product: Porcilis COLI 6C, a vaccine for swine. The vaccine is designed to control E. coli and Clostridium perfringens with four anitgens of E. coli and toxoids from three strains of Clostridium perfringens. (Pig International)  
> EU   Bayer HealthCare's Animal Health division introduced Renalzin, an innovative, easy-to-administer feed additive proven to support kidney function in ageing cats. The main ingredient of Renalzin is Bayer's Lantharenol (lanthanum carbonate), a phosphate binder derived from the latest research in renal failure; it also contains kaolin and vitamin E.  Renalzin will be available in Japan, Germany, the UK, Benelux and Austria starting October this year, with other European countries ready for launch over the coming months. (PRNewswire)
> UK   Fort Dodge Animal Health announced the launch of its bluetongue vaccine Zulvac 8 Bovis, which protects cattle from bluetongue serotype 8,  in the UK under a provisional marketing authorization from the UK's Veterinary Medicines Directorate. It is also being used in vaccination campaigns in other countries throughout Europe. Zulvac 8 is authorized for use by cattle farmers inside the bluetongue protection zone, which covers all of England and Wales. (Animal Pharm) 
> US - ANIMAL DISEASE TRACEABILITY   The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released the official version of its Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability.  The plan provides benchmarks to guide the National Animal Identification System’s progress towards the long-term goal of 48-hour traceback of affected or exposed animals in the event of an animal disease outbreak. To read the business plan, go to http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/naislibrary/documents/plans_reports/TraceabilityBusinessPlan%20Ver%201.0%20Sept%202008.pdf (Cattle Network)
The economic conditions on Wall Street continue to dominate the news.  As we commented last week, this financial crisis will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the animal health industry. 
What can companies and individuals do in the face of the proposed massive bailout?  Keep investing in R&D and capital assets to create new, improved products and services.  No matter what happens, we believe that most pet owners will continue to keep their pets healthy, and will continue purchasing animal protein for food.  There will be some difficult and challenging situations developing in the marketplace.  The best response to these changes should be a prudent, conservative approach, not panic reactions.
Have a good weekend!
Ron Brakke
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