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Animal Health News & Notes for September 16, 2011 9/16/2011

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Brakke Consulting's
Animal Health News & Notes for September 16, 2011

Copyright © Brakke Consulting, Inc.
 
Editor: Lynn Fondon, DVM MBA
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IN THE NEWS:
 
Brakke news
Pet Owner Channel Use Study
 
earnings news
Del Monte
Genus
 
other news
DVMInsight
Franck's Pharmacy
GHEN
IDEXX
Jilin Guoyan
Merck
Merial
Pet Airways
Pfizer
scil
Tocagen
Vaxxinova Japan
Veterinary Pet Insurance
 
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COMPANY EARNINGS RELEASES
 
> Genus reported results for its latest financial year ended June 30, 2011.  The company reported an adjusted profit before tax of GBP 39 million ($62 million), an increase of 19% over the prior year.  Revenues were GBP 310 million ($493 million) in the year, an increase of 9%. (Animal Pharm) 
 
> Del Monte Foods reported results for the first fiscal 2012 quarter ended July 31, 2011. Pet Products net sales were $422 million, a decrease of 1% from net sales in the prior year period. The decrease in Pet Products net sales was primarily driven by unit volume declines, which was partially offset by new product growth and pricing. (Business Wire)
 
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COMPANY NEWS RELEASES
 
> Pfizer announced a joint venture with Jilin Guoyan Animal Health Company Ltd.  The joint venture, called Jilin Pfizer Guoyuan Animal Health Co., plans to start marketing its first product — a vaccine against a reproductive and respiratory condition — next year. Pfizer's animal health business also will try to increase sales of its existing products by expanding its sales force in China. (AP)
 
> IDEXX Telemedicine Consultants announced that DVMInsight (including its teleradiology service, Sight Hound Radiology) has joined IDEXX Laboratories.  DVMInsight provides independent radiologists a fully customized and simple-to-use telemedicine system as well as image and data archive solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed. (company website)
 
> scil animal care company announced new pre-anesthetic Vital Health Liver and Kidney Panels for the scil Spotchem EZ Chemistry Analyzer. In addition, scil now also offers a TTA product line featuring orthopedic instrumentation and implants. (company press releases)
 
> A federal judge has ruled in favor of Franck’s Pharmacy in a lawsuit with the FDA concerning the practice of compounding veterinary medications. The judge granted Franck’s motion for summary judgment in the legal matter, which the FDA initiated in April 2010, asking for an injunction forcing the Franck's to stop compounding animal drugs from bulk ingredients without first seeking an agency-approved new animal drug application. (Ocala.com) 
 
> The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) announced that it has awarded funding to Tocagen Inc. for the evaluation of its investigational treatment Toca 511 & Toca FC in companion dogs with brain cancer.  The $200,000 ABTA Clinical Research Grant to Tocagen represents the first time that ABTA has directly funded industry research. (company press release)
 
> Pet Airways announced it has entered into a partnership with Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI).  Under the terms of the partnership, Pet Airways will make available exclusive offers to VPI policyholders. It will also be possible for Pet Airways pet parents to purchase VPI insurance products from a link on the Pet Airways web site. (Market Wire)
 
> NETHERLANDS   Researchers at the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB) of the University of Groningen and Merck (MSD Animal Health) have developed a highly promising candidate vaccine to prevent Rhodococcus equi pneumonia in foals. A patent application is pending and MSD Animal Health is currently preparing for a large-scale field study with the candidate vaccine. (company press release)
 
> EU  Merial announced the launch of Supleneo Flex, a canine joint health supplement containing glucosamine, chondroitin and mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), in Germany, Italy and the UK. Supleneo Flex is a veterinary channel product that complements the company's coxib NSAID Previcox. (Animal Pharm) 
 
> JAPAN   Vaxxinova Japan announced it has acquired the biologicals business of GHEN Corporation, including 19 kinds of poultry vaccine. Financial terms were not disclosed. (Animal Pharm) 
 
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ANIMAL HEALTH NEWS
 
> US - BRUCELLOSIS   Montana livestock officials have reported that a Park County cattle herd has been quarantined after six of the animals tested positive for brucellosis. Confirmatory testing on the animals is underway; if confirmed, it would be the region's 15th infection in livestock since 2004. (Billings Gazette)
 
> US - FIV RESEARCH   Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have genetically engineered cats to make blood cells that are resistant to feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).  Researchers used a rhesus monkey gene that confers resistance to feline AIDS inserted into egg cells obtained from female cats that were being spayed. The eggs were fertilized and then transferred to a surrogate mother cat. The research is the first to successfully demonstrate that viruses can be used to insert FIV-blocking genes into the eggs of carnivores. The next step will be to see if the gene makes cats completely resistant to FIV. The research was published in the journal Nature Methods. (Healthland.time.com)
 
> US - CATTLE DISEASE RESEARCH   Scientists from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have discovered a genetic marker that is associated with the incidence of the most prevalent bacterial diseases affecting feedlot cattle: pinkeye, foot rot and bovine respiratory disease. According to the researchers, the proximity to other markers suggests a link to the general health of animals. (Animal Pharm)
 
> US - NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS   The National Animal Supplement Council (NASC) has initiated a third-party quality assurance program specifically for raw material suppliers and contract manufacturers. As an extension of the organization's current NASC Quality Seal Program for finished products in the animal health supplement industry, raw material suppliers and contract manufacturers can now apply for a NASC Quality Supply Chain Partner Seal. (Market Wire)
 
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BRAKKE CONSULTING VIEWPOINT
 
This week’s newsletter has some interesting stories related to joint ventures, cooperative marketing agreements and acquisitions.  We believe these various agreements demonstrate that some animal health market segments require combined expertise or critical mass to participate in them profitably.  It is likely that in the future we’ll be seeing more of these mutually beneficial agreements. 
 
The news item related to a federal court ruling regarding the legality of compounding of animal drugs appears on the surface to be troubling for those firms investing in research and product development to create innovative, safe animal health products.  While legal compounding has a role in veterinary medicine, the inability of the government to adequately regulate compounding encourages the growth of illegal compounding practices. Companies who believe their investment in the development of new products will not be safeguarded in the marketplace are less likely to devote resources to innovation, which is a loss to the entire animal health market.
 
This is the last week that we’ll provide a weather report from Texas.  Earlier this week be broke the record for the most days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  The record is now 70 days.  Also, there has been no appreciable rain to report in the state so our drought continues to be severe. 
 
Have a great weekend!!

Ron Brakke
 
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Dallas, TX  75234    USA