It's been a productive couple of weeks for Aratana Therapeutics. I had the opportunity to sit down with Aratana CEO Steven St. Peter last week to chat about recent developments, and more generally, the prospects for the animal health industry going forward. Here are some excerpts from our conversation.
Just after Zoetis kicked off its first-ever Investor Day at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, trading in the company's stock was halted unexpectedly midday, when its financial forecasts were released earlier than the company had planned.
It is fascinating what has happened in the last couple of years in the animal health industry, which runs to $22 billion a year for animal drugs and vaccines and is expected to grow at 5.7% compound annual rate, faster than the market for human medicines. Zoetis was spun off from Pfizer as the largest independent animal health company. M&A action in recent months is remixing the players once again. Next year, Novartis will be off of this list, and based on current revenues, Eli Lilly's Elanco should ascend to the number two position.
Many, but not all, of the largest are units of Big Pharma. One of the things you might notice is the range in size from largest to smallest, $4.56 billion, to $413 million. Given the current M&A atmosphere, there is a good chance that another player could be spun off, or sold, reshuffling the deck once again.
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Shares of Zoetis were on a tear Tuesday afternoon, rising 9% to $43.72, following news that Pershing Square's William Ackman had purchased $1.5 billion worth of the company's shares.
A U.K. consortium led by Zoetis announced a $3 million project that will use visual imaging and digital technology to improve the health and wellness of pig herds with a goal of better production.
Piedmont Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2001 in Greensboro, NC, and has been operating largely off the radar since then. But on Wednesday, the company put out an announcement stating a bold objective to be counted "among the top seven largest companion animal pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. by 2020."
How can the aquaculture industry lead the way to responsible use of antibiotics without sacrificing food safety and endangering human health? That question was posed recently by The Fish Site, published by U.K.-based agricultural data provider 5m.
Pet retail giant Petco of San Diego announced Wednesday that it is acquiring online and catalog company Drs. Foster & Smith, which is owned by veterinarians and based in Wisconsin.
On Friday, Colorado-based Heska took a major step into the spotlight by holding an Investor Day at Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square.
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