Activist investor Ackman to sell $800M worth of Zoetis shares: Report

May 18, 2016

Just days after Zoetis ($ZTS) announced better-than-expected results in its first quarter, the activist investor who once told the company to shape up or sell itself–William Ackman of Pershing Square Capital–seems to be backing off of the animal health giant. On May 9, Pershing planned to sell 16.85 million shares of the company for about $800 million, according to anonymous sources who spoke to the New York Times. Zoetis’ shares have risen 8.6% since Pershing Square bought up 8.5% of the company for $1.5 billion in late 2014. The hedge fund will still own 25 million shares after the transaction, which will be managed by Bank of America Merill Lynch and Credit Suisse, according to the Times. But Pershing Square’s William Doyle, who joined Zoetis’ board last year, will be stepping down this week. Pershing Square was instrumental in getting Zoetis CEO Juan Ramón Alaix and his management team to focus on improving the company’s bottom line. During Zoetis’ first-ever Investor Day in New York in November 2014, Ackman reportedly... ...

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NUTRIAD WITH STRONG PRESENCE AT APA CONVENTION

May 18, 2016

The 2016 APA convention (Asia Pacific Aquaculture) took place in Surabaya from 26th till 29th of April, and surely was the major aquaculture exhibition in South East Asia this year, attracting close to 5,000 participants. The massive presence of Indonesian aquaculturists, including farmers, governmental staff and researchers proved the importance of the aquaculture community in Indonesia.  Indonesian aquaculture grew nearly 20% in the last 5 years in hectares in production and over 50% per year in volume produced over the last 10 years.   “Attendees from all over South East Asia learned how the Indonesian aquaculture industry managed to realize this amazing growth and the conference was very well attended with participants,” said Allen Wu, Nutriad’s Regional Manager Aquaculture APAC, and Board Director of the organizing World Aquaculture Society – Asia Pacific Chapter. The International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture (ISTA) was part of the program. Furthermore, a special producer program for Indonesian aquaculture producers, IndoAqua, Fita and the 12th All Indonesian Young Koi Show were incorporated in this event.... ...

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Aratana Q1 loss widens amid shift towards commercial enterprise

May 11, 2016

One week after announcing a commercial partnership with Eli Lilly’s ($LLY) Elanco, Aratana ($PETX) CEO Steven St. Peter remained upbeat about the deal, even as his company reported first-quarter earnings that fell short of expectations. After the market closed on May 5, the Kansas-based company announced that its revenues in the quarter came in at $172,000 and its net loss doubled year-over-year to $18.1 million (52 cents a share). Analysts had expected the loss to be 42 cents, according to Zacks Investment Research. Aratana is preparing to launch its first major product, Galliprant (grapiprant), to treat osteoarthritis (OA) pain in dogs. The Elanco deal netted Aratana an upfront payment of $45 million and the potential for milestone payouts. In return, Elanco has exclusive rights to market the drug overseas, as the two companies co-promote it in the U.S. Aratana filed for approval of Galliprant in Europe in February and anticipates launching the drug there in 2017. The Elanco alliance will allow Aratana to leverage the marketing expertise and sales presence of... ...

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Microbiome could yield clues to dermatitis in dogs and people: Report

May 11, 2016

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, affects as many as 10% of Americans, as well as 10% of their dogs. Now a new study from doctors and veterinarians at the University of Pennsylvania has uncovered a common characteristic of the human and canine forms of the disease–and it resides in the skin’s population of bacteria known as the “microbiome.” In a study of 32 patients at Penn’s veterinary school, researchers found that dogs with atopic dermatitis had 10 times as much Staphylococcus bacteria on their skin as healthy dogs did. Levels of another bacterial species, Corynebacterium, also rose, according to a press release from Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. At the same time, the quality of the skin’s protective barrier deteriorated. The researchers discovered that in the dogs, the proliferation of the abnormal bacteria crowded out more harmless or even beneficial bacteria. But after a month or so of treatment with antibiotics, the diversity of the skin microbiome in the dogs returned to healthy levels, as did the skin’s protective... ...

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Aratana hands Elanco rights to osteoarthritis med for dogs

May 4, 2016

Aratana Therapeutics ($PETX) is trying to beef up its portfolio, and it figures a deal with Eli Lilly’s ($LLY) Elanco unit is a step in the right direction. The company is handing over rights to its osteoarthritis med for dogs to Elanco in a bid to step up business. Elanco will have the exclusive rights to develop, manufacture and market Galliprant globally. The companies will co-promote the product in the U.S., the pair said in a statement. Under the terms of the deal, Aratana will get an upfront payment of $45 million and additional milestone payments. Leawood, KS-based Aratana will also get co-promotion fees and royalty payments. The deal stands to benefit both sides. A licensing agreement for Galliprant “expands … Elanco’s robust companion animal portfolio, which will now give our customers and their patients a spectrum of treatments for managing osteoarthritic pain,” Jeff Simmons, Elanco’s president of Animal Health, said in a statement. For Aratana, a little dealmaking could go a long way toward expanding Galliprant’s global footprint. The... ...

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VCA ups 2016 forecast on double-digit Q1 sales and profit growth

May 4, 2016

VCA ($WOOF), a leading chain of animal hospitals in the U.S. and Canada, has been pursuing a strategy of growth through acquisition. And if the first quarter is any indication, that tactic is paying off for the Los Angeles-based company. On April 27, VCA announced that during the first quarter, its revenues jumped 12.8% year-over-year to a record $563.4 million and its operating income was up 24.5% to $86.1 million. That was enough to prompt the company to boost its guidance for the full year, stating it expects revenues to come in between $2.39 billion and $2.41 billion and that net income will be somewhere between $210 million and $218 million. That would translate to earnings per share of $2.82 to $2.92. On average, analysts had been expecting EPS of $2.78 this year, according to Thomson Financial Network. Shares of VCA bumped up 2% to $62.86 the morning of the announcement. “We have continued to experience increasing organic revenue growth and gross margins in both our core Animal Hospital and... ...

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GSK promises ‘bubble boy’ gene therapy will not break the bank as new pricing model revealed

Apr 6, 2016

GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) has only just received a thumbs-up from a European Medicines Agency committee for its groundbreaking new gene therapy treatment–but it’s already thinking about pricing as it gears up for a final European approval in the coming months. The CHMP–the safety and efficacy arm of the European regulator–recommended approval of GSK’s new drug Strimvelis on Friday to treat the incredibly rare and fatal disorder known colloquially as “bubble boy syndrome,” more than a decade after the EMA first granted the drug an orphan designation. Strimvelis has been developed in partnership with Italy’s San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy and works as an ex vivo gene therapy for severe combined immunodeficiency due to adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA-SCID)–aka “bubble boy syndrome,” as children with the disorder must be kept protected from any infections due to their highly fragile immune system. ...

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Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Modeling (QSPM) Case Study in Immuno-oncology

Apr 6, 2016

DATE: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 | TIME: 11am ET / 8am PT | DURATION: 1 Hour Biotech and Pharma are increasingly using quantitative systems pharmacology modeling (QSPM) approaches to help answer complex, critical Go/No-go decisions in R&D. Dr. John Burke will discuss the: Value of QSP approaches A QSP industry case study The case study entails developing and interrogating a QSPM of PD-1 and TIM-3. The QSPM provided: Biological insights by predicting why dosing regimens are quite similar for two therapeutics targeting PD-1 that have affinities that differ by several orders of magnitude Best-in-class profile predictions for PD-1 and TIM-3 dual antagonists This webinar is ideal for scientists in R&D who want to learn more about how to leverage QSPM to shorten timelines, lower cost, and increase the likelihood of developing best-in-class drugs. FEATURED SPEAKER: John M. Burke, PhD — Co-Founder, President, and CEO, Applied BioMath Prior to co-founding Applied BioMath, Dr. Burke was an Associate Director, Head of Systems Biology at Boehringer Ingelheim where he started, developed and managed... ...

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Webinar: Minimizing Risk to Maximize Coverage for the Global Supply of Vaccines

Apr 6, 2016

This presentation will focus on the use of the advanced aseptic filling techniques utilized in blow/fill/seal technology to enhance the global supply of vaccines through primary container design and manufacturing efficiency. In this webinar, we will discuss: the details and data on how the principles of BFS dramatically reduce the risk profile and particulate contamination in aseptic filling. information on the container closure and a case study of a model monoclonal antibody in a BFS vial compared to glass. primary container design freedom to help address the needs of vaccine distribution and delivery. FEATURED SPEAKER:   Bill Hartzel — Director, Strategic Execution, Advanced Delivery Technologies, Catalent Pharma Solutions Bill Hartzel is the Director of Strategic Execution at Catalent Pharma Solutions, a global leader in development solutions and advanced drug delivery technologies. In this role, he is responsible for the implementation of a full suite of advanced aseptic processing solutions for biologic and complex pharmaceutical liquid products. He provides a strong background in advanced aseptic processing in blow/fill/seal and plastics in... ...

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