What if scientists could engineer an alternative to antibiotics--potentially as effective, and just as quick? San Francisco-based AvidBiotics is currently developing antibacterial non-antibody proteins against food and animal bacterial pathogens that the company calls Purocin proteins. AvidBiotics president and co-founder Jim Knighton told FierceAnimalHealth that these engineered proteins are "the antithesis of a broad spectrum antibiotic."
Animal health, which for decades was little more than a side business for big pharma companies, has emerged as a beacon of growth and an important profit driver in the industry. The rise of animal health as a growth engine has set off a flurry of dealmaking, attracted an influx of capital and created an increasingly dynamic marketplace for pet and livestock pharmaceuticals.
As more deal talk swirls, the burning question in the pharma world is whether animal health divisions are better off as stand-alone companies, focused exclusively on animal health, than as divisions of human-pharma organizations. It's a sensible question--animal health is fundamentally different from the human pharma business, with unique demands and complexities.
It's been a big couple of years for the animal health industry. The animal drug and vaccines market is running at $22 billion a year and expected to grow at 5.7% compound annual growth, faster than the market for human medicines. Zoetis was spun off from Pfizer into the largest stand alone animal health company in the world last year. Eli Lilly , which owns Elanco, recently agreed to buy Novartis animal health unit for $5.4 billion, which will catapult it into the second largest animal health business globally.
In a dynamic market like this there is lots to know and a need to discover it quickly. And we intend to be the go-to tool for you to do that. With FierceAnimalHealth, we will be keeping tabs on a slew of companies that are new to us and so we urge you to help us get to know you and to keep us apprised of the essential news in the industry.
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The Wall Street Journal said that the drugmaker plans to test Zilmax in about 250,000 cattle in a randomized, controlled study. But sources say beef producers like Cargill and JBS SA have pushed back against the move. While Merck planned to have the feed additive on the market by this summer, the study has been delayed.
Sales of products for the production animal category in emerging markets were up significantly for French drugmaker Virbac in the first half. It was helped in South America by the integration of Uruguay-based Santa Elena, which it bought last year, but it was not enough to overcome difficult foreign exchange rates and weak sales in the U.S. after having to recall 34 lots of its Iverhart Plus chewable heartworm medicine last year.
Former FDA associate commissioner Peter J. Pitts added his voice to calls for the need to regulate animal drug compounders who put together illegal animal drug combos, accusing the FDA of doing nothing while animals are dying from the practice.
Spring ended with approval for a chewable treating ticks and fleas in May, followed by another edible drug in June for canine osteoarthritis. Now the market for dog meds is getting even bigger as Sanofi's Merial has just relaunched its heartworm tablet.
Husch Blackwell, a Kansas City, MO-based national legal firm with a Food & Agribusiness team, has laid out the top reasons behind the sudden rush--citing increased news coverage of the sector as one of them.
With a slap to French animal health company AB Science, the FDA is sending out a poignant reminder that there are no exceptions to its rules when it comes to marketing medications. It issued the company a warning letter regarding its Kinavet-CA1 canine drug, intended for canine mast cell tumors, for allegedly boasting its off-label uses without approval.
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Six biotechs were expected to go public this week, eyeing nearly $400 million combined, but that potential has so far amounted to one deeply discounted offering, one bottom-of-the-range debut and one outright cancelation.
Researchers at the University of Iowa have developed a vaccine that showed protection in mice against dust mite allergies.