» 2000

Animal Health News & Notes for February 11, 2000 2/11/2000

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Brakke Consulting’s
Animal Health News & Notes for February 11, 2000
Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
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Company Earnings Releases
 IBP Inc., the nation's largest red meatpacker, posted record earnings in 1999, citing increased consumer demand for beef and pork, ample supplies of hogs and cattle, and growth in the prepared foods business. IBP reported showed net earnings of $313 million for the year ending Dec. 25, a 65% increase from 1998 net earnings.  Sales in 1999 totaled $14.1 billion, 10% higher than 1998. (Des Moines Register)

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Company News Releases
 Pfizer announced it is acquiring Warner-Lambert Co. for $90 billion in stock, in a deal that will create the world's second-largest pharmaceutical company. The deal will mark the end of a takeover battle that started in November when Warner-Lambert announced a $58.3 billion merger with its New Jersey neighbor American Home Products Corp. American Home Products will be paid $1.8 billion - the largest breakup fee in history - to sever its contract with Warner-Lambert. (AP)
 Alpharma has reported that it plans to sell 2 million shares of Class A common stock.  At 2/4/00 closing price of $32-13/16, the estimated cash flow would be around $65.5 million. (Feedstuffs)
 Neogen Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has increased its authorization for Company common stock repurchase from the previously announced 500,000 shares to 750,000 shares.  Neogen has repurchased 431,900 shares since its repurchase program began.  Currently, there are about 5,900,000 outstanding shares of Company common stock. (PRNewswire)
 Abbott Laboratories and Polymedco Inc. have signed a distribution deal allowing the Abbott sales force to market and sell the Veterinary-Bladder Tumor Analytes (V-BTA) test kit.  The assay is the first tumor marker for canine urinary tract and bladder cancer detection.  V-BTA test is a urine dipstick test. (Veterinary Practice News)
 Petstore.com and Novartis Animal Health announced a partnership to benefit pet owners. The effort is targeted primarily at members of Partnership for Pet Health (PPH), Novartis’ pet owner membership program.  As part of this endeavor, Petstore.com will feature helpful information on heartworms and fleas as well as information about Novartis Animal Health products that help protect pets against these dangerous parasites. In addition, PPH members who visit Petstore.com will be eligible to receive discounts and special product offers. (Business Wire)
 PetQuarters, Inc (PetQuarters.com) announced that it has filed its Form 10-SB registration with the SEC to become a reporting company under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Additionally, the Company announced that it has met its obligation regarding the payment of principal and accrued interest on the bridge loan that it entered in to on November 10, 1999.  (PRNewswire)
 According to Advertising Age magazine, PETsMART.com spent $50 million on advertising in 1999.  Petopia.com, Pets.com, and PetPlanet.com each had 1999 advertising budgets of $15-25 million. (Veterinary Practice News)
 Two internet-based companies launched e-commerce sites for the poultry industry during the International Poultry Expo in January.  Agribuys.com brings together buyers and sellers of produce, meat and seafood as well as poultry, in an online bidding system.  PoultryFirst.com allows buyers and sellers of poultry products to meet online in an auction environment. (Poultry Times)
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Animal Health News
 The EU's Standing Veterinary Committee (independent experts from all 15 EU member states) accepted announced United States measures to improve the monitoring program to test for unauthorized substances and residue levels exceeding EU maximum residue limits in fresh meat and meat products. As a result, no import ban on hormone-free beef or on any other meat or meat product will be imposed before March 15, 2000. (PRNewswire)
 A team of scientists from the Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) in Saskatoon is currently developing novel vaccination systems that do not use needles. The new alternatives focus on oral vaccines, vaccines delivered through the skin or within the skin as well as through the vagina.  Research using DNA vaccines has shown that skin vaccination is more efficient at inducing an immune response than intramuscular injection. VIDO scientists are studying a variety of methods to breach the skin barrier and deliver vaccines. They've used the "Biojector system", which can shoot a high-pressure stream of liquid through the skin, to effectively deliver both DNA and protein vaccines. Another needle free vaccination delivery system, called the "gene gun," penetrates the skin surface with pressurized gas to deliver gold particles, coated with a DNA vaccine. The gas pressure can be adjusted to ensure that most of the gold particles are deposited in the upper layers of the skin. Scientists are exploring gene gun technology for intervaginal vaccination of cows. (AnimalNet)
 Officials at the FDA are reportedly reviewing an application from marine biotechnology firm A/F Protein for genetically modified (GM) salmon. If approved, the transgenic fish, which have been engineered to grow faster and consume less food than their wild counterparts, will be the first to reach the marketplace.  A/F researchers have taken a gene promoter from the ocean pout and inserted it into the Atlantic salmon, causing it to express growth hormone from its liver, as well as its pituitary gland where the hormone is normally produced.  (Nature Biotechnology)
 A simple kit to detect sheep lice could help Australian farmers to reduce their use of chemical treatments. The new test kit, developed by CSIRO Animal Health and Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute (EMAI) NSW Agriculture, with funding support from the Woolmark Company, will be trailed on selected farms in NSW this year. Australian company, AGEN Biomedical, developed the prototype kit that will be used in the trial in collaboration with CSIRO and EMAI. New European residue standards to be imposed between now and 2007 will require reductions in chemical residues in wool. Currently, many farmers treat their sheep as a precaution. Surveys suggest only three out of ten Australian sheep flocks have lice, but eight out of ten flocks are treated chemically for lice.  The research team has developed a laboratory test that has detected sheep carrying as few as 50 lice, when comb and cutter debris was collected from groups of 10 similarly infested sheep.  The kits could be on the market by 2002, if the farm trials are successful.  (AnimalNet)
 The contraceptive PZP is being used by the North Carolina Park Service to control the size of the wild horse herd in the Cape Lookout National Seashore.  The shot is effective for one foaling season and is about 90% effective.  PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida) is made from pig eggs and costs about $20 a dose. In existence about 30 years, the drug's use in wild animals is new. It produces antibodies that block fertilization by distorting sperm receptors on the animal's eggs.  It has been safely and successfully used in a number of species, including horses, elephants and deer. (AP)
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Agribusiness News
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Executive recruitment and placement services from Brakke Consulting, Inc.
  
Currently, BCI is seeking qualified candidates for several positions with animal health companies.  These positions are: 
• Director, Professional Marketing….. Fortune 500 company
• Veterinary Affairs Manager (2) ….. DVM’s
• Technical Sales Representative….. specialty chemicals
• Director Agrosciences and Animal Health….. contract research organization
• Global Account Director
• President & CEO….. growth company
• Project Manager, Product Development, Diets….. DVM and/or PhD
• Director of Marketing….. Pet Products
To learn more about these positions please log onto our web-site at www.brakkeconsulting.com.

In recent years, BCI has successfully placed dozens of experienced and qualified animal health executives.   Many companies are having difficulty recruiting quality candidates in today's tight labor market.  If your company would like to learn more about our unique recruitment and placement services please contact Ron Brakke at brakkecons@aol.com or call our offices at (972) 243-4033.

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Brakke Consulting Viewpoint

 Now that Pfizer has won the battle for Warner Lambert, the speculation on who will ultimately team up with or acquire American Home Products will move into full gear.  Some of the names being floated as possible purchasers of AHP would indicate that there could well be another major consolidation in animal health this year. 

We keep waiting for the announcements related to the purchasers of Pfizer and Roche’s medicinal feed additives businesses.  The rumors in the marketplace have the deals done, but it seems to be taking a long time to formally be announced.

The company news this week centers around one huge acquisition, one firm raising more capital, and one small company repurchasing underpriced shares.  We continue to see new companies emerging in the e-commerce area every few weeks.  Financing appears not to be an issue for most of these firms.  We believe that more alliances and consolidations will begin to appear in this rapidly developing area.  Will we begin to see e-commerce companies buying more brick-and-mortar companies with existing product sales?  We believe that those companies integrating e-commerce with existing sales channels will, in the end, be the suppliers of goods and services.

We wish all of you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

 [Ron Brakke]
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