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Animal Health News & Notes for May 20, 2011 5/20/2011

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Brakke Consulting's
Animal Health News & Notes for May 20, 2011

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
 
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM MBA
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IN THE NEWS:
 
Brakke news
transaction assistance
 
earnings news
Digital Angel
ImmuCell
PetSmart
 
other news
Alstoe
Hartz
scil
Sumitomo
Unicharm
 
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BRAKKE CONSULTING, INC.
TRANSACTION ASSISTANCE SERVICES

 
Are you interested in growing your business by purchasing another company, product line or technology?  Have you been thinking about selling your company, product line or technology? Have you considered merging your company with another firm to improve shareholder value?
 
Brakke Consulting, Inc. has assisted many clients with mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.  For more information on our transaction assistance services please visit our website.
 
www.BrakkeConsulting.com
 
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COMPANY EARNINGS RELEASES
 
> ImmuCell Corporation announced the results of its operations for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.  Product sales were $1.6 million, an increase of 19% compared to the same period in 2010.  The net loss was ($23,000) in comparison to a net loss of ($53,000) during the same period in 2010. (company press release)  
 
> Digital Angel reported results for the first quarter of 2011.  Total revenues were $9.8 million, a decline of 10% compared to the prior year. (company website)
 
> PetSmart, Inc. reported that total sales for the first quarter of 2011 increased 7% to $1.5 billion. Comparable store sales grew 5%.  Net income totaled $71 million in the first quarter of 2011, compared to $56 million in the first quarter of 2010. (Business Wire) 
 
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COMPANY NEWS RELEASES
 
> scil animal care company, inc., announced it is relaunching the scil Vet Focus 5 Hematology Analyzer. The scil Vet Focus 5 Hematology Analyzer is specifically designed to meet the needs of veterinary practices demanding true multi-species capability and five-part differential. The analyzer specializes in all domestic animal species, as well as some exotics such as guinea pig and rabbit. (company press release) 
 
> Sumitomo Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation of America and Unicharm Corporation announced they have signed a Letter of Intent for a joint venture that would include acquisition by Unicharm of a significant stake in the common share of The Hartz Mountain Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo. Financial terms were not disclosed. (PRNewswire)
 
> UK   Alstoe announced that Vetergesic (buprenorphine) is now registered for use in horses. The product was developed and is manufactured in the UK, and has been marketed by Alstoe for small animals for the last 11 years. The product is now available as a multi-dose pack, enabling veterinarians to more easily manage the larger liquid volumes required for horses. (Animal Pharm) 
 
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ANIMAL HEALTH NEWS
 
> US - EQUINE HERPESVIRUS   An outbreak of equine herpes virus (EHV-1) continues to spread with at least 29 cases now confirmed in eight Western states. Colorado State University, Washington State University and the University of California-Davis all have restricted equine access at their veterinary hospitals in response to the outbreak.  The National Cutting Horse Association's Western National Championships in Odgen, Utah between April 30 and May 8 is believed to have been the source of the outbreak. (DVM360)
 
> NETHERLANDS - AVIAN INFLUENZA  Authorities in the Netherlands are culling 8,800 chickens at an organic farm in the center of the country after avian influenza was found recently. It is the second outbreak this year and is believed to involve the H7 strain.  (Animal Pharm)
 
> SWITZERLAND - CATTLE RESEARCH   Bioengineers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have developed a cellulose capsule that contains bull sperm and living cells that react to a particular bodily signal. Hundreds of the capsules can be implanted in the cow's uterus a few days before ovulation; the capsules then respond to hormones present during ovulation, releasing the sperm. (UPI)
 
> AUSTRALIA - HENDRA VIRUS RESEARCH   Researchers at CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory, in collaboration with the US government's Uniformed Services University, have developed a vaccine to protect horses against Hendra virus.  Hendra virus first appeared in 1994 and five of the 14 known outbreaks spread to seven people.  Researchers say that if field trials and registration progress as expected, the vaccine could be available next year. (TheAustralian.com.au)
 
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BRAKKE CONSULTING VIEWPOINT
 
As the weather warms up, the flea and tick wars are in full swing in many US markets.  It’s clear that pet owners will have a rapidly expanding number of choices in the category, especially as several generic copies of Frontline hit the market.  
 
Here in Dallas, we’re being flooded with television advertising for both existing and new brands.  Hopefully the advertising spend will expand the total market for all the companies involved.  Some limited store checks would indicate that, on a per dose basis, the new generics seem to offer pet owners only modest savings over the leading brands – less than expected based on viewing the advertising.  If you enjoy watching this kind of marketing skirmish, it could be an interesting summer.
 
Other parts of the animal health business seem to be holding their own in an economy that is seeking a firm recovery. At this point neither the grain nor gasoline prices seem to be taking too much of a chunk out of the spendable dollars available in the food and companion animal markets.  Increased product costs without the ability to pass these costs along could be the biggest concern of some companies in 2011. 
 
Have a great weekend!!
 
Ron Brakke
 
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Brakke Consulting, Inc.
2735 Villa Creek, Suite 140
Dallas, TX  75234    USA