Lilly to Acquire Novartis Animal Health

A $5.4 billion deal announced today will create world’s second-largest animal health company.

elanco-lillyEli Lilly and Company intends to acquire Novartis Animal Health in an all-cash transaction “to strengthen and diversify Lilly’s own animal health business, Elanco.”

The transaction will result in Elanco becoming the second-largest animal health company in the world in terms of global revenue, will solidify its number two ranking in the U.S., and improve its position in Europe and the rest of the world. “This deal creates a global animal health leader able to deliver even more innovation and value to our customers,” said Jeff Simmons, senior vice president of Eli Lilly and Company and president of Elanco Animal Health. “Combining these two great companies will enable us to provide more diversified brands, reach more market segments, expand our global footprint, and strengthen our pipeline, capabilities and expertise.”

Simmons joined Lilly’s chairman, president and chief executive officer John Lechleiter in making the official announcement this morning. Listen to their press availability here:
Lilly CEO John Lechleiter and Elanco president Jeff Simmons announce Novartis deal

Novus International Names New CEO

novus-signThe Board of Directors for Novus International has named François Fraudeau as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective immediately. He replaces Thad Simons who is officially retiring as CEO and will become the Senior Executive Advisor to the Board.

“The Board is grateful for the tremendous leadership and guidance provided by Thad over his many years with Novus,” said Mr. Katsurao Yoshimori, Senior Vice President of Mitsui & Co. (USA), Inc. “Novus has achieved unprecedented success under his direction and we are proud to have had his leadership.” Novus is privately owned by Mitsui & Co. and Nippon Soda Co., Ltd.

novus-francois“Going forward there is no better leader for Novus than François Fraudeau,” noted Thad Simons, member of the Board of Directors. “François is a proven leader with extensive experience in the feed additive industry and ability to bring people together.”

During his career with Novus, Fraudeau has held various positions in Europe, Asia and the USA and has extensive knowledge of methionine and other core Novus technologies. “Novus is a unique company with a truly global footprint in the animal nutrition space, and I am honored to be chosen to lead this company forward,” said Fraudeau. “We have great opportunities in front of us as we deliver on the next chapter in Novus’s continuing legacy of helping to feed the world affordable, wholesome food and achieve a higher quality of life by making a clear difference in sustainably meeting the growing need for nutrition and health.”

PCV2 – A Retrospective

In one way, you can consider this year the 40th anniversary of PCV (Porcine Circovirus or PCV2) said Dr. Brian Payne, FLEX technical manger for Boehringer Ingelheim during the recent Swine Health Seminar. He explained that in 1974 it was first isolated but the industry didn’t know what it meant. During the next 25 years or so, more studies were done and then Porcine Cirocvirus was split into PCV1 and PCV2 based on genetic sequencing and what they were finding in the field.

bivi-vet14-payneAs Dr. Payne explained, even PCV2 is “mutating”. He said that any virus is going to mutate, or change, over time. As a result, PCV2 has been categorized into PCV2a and PCV2b. He noted that if a producer has circavirus in his swine herd, he or she will know it but most don’t sequence the virus any further because they both affect the herd in basically the same way.

I asked Dr. Payne if PCV2a and PCV2b should be treated in the same way. He said this was a good question and when you are asking if a farm with PCV2a should be treated the same way as a farm with PCV2b, you’re really talking about prevention with a vaccine.

“All the vaccines today including CircoFLEX are PCV2a vaccines but they protect equally as well for PCV2b,” said Dr. Payne, who recommends CircoFLEX at three weeks of age. He said it’s here, and here to stay. He also noted that a guild going into a sow herd needs to be vaccinated one more time. Evidence is showing that when these two prevention strategies are combined, there is more benefit than the piglet vaccination alone.

Listen my interview with Dr. Payne here to learn more about PCV2 and effective prevention strategies. Interview with Dr. Brian Payne on PCV2

Check out the BIVI guest adventures in the BIVI Big D Swine Health Seminar photo album.

Attendees Scoring Big With BIVI in Dallas

Dr. John Waddell kicks off the BIVI Swine Health Seminar in Dallas, Texas on February 28, 2014.

Dr. John Waddell kicks off the BIVI Swine Health Seminar in Dallas, Texas on February 28, 2014. Attendees are scoring big in Dallas today during the Boehringer Ingelheim (BIVI) Swine Health Seminar in the Big D.

Attendees are Scoring Big with BIVI in the Big D today at the Boehringer Ingelheim (BIVI) Swine Health Seminar taking place in Dallas, Texas. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the moniker, the Big D is Dallas Texas – the home of the Dallas Cowboys football team (this will become relevant later in my post).

The theme of today’s seminar is Running the Option: A Multifaceted Approach to PCV2 (or Porcine Circovirus). The virus was first discovered (or genetically identified) in 1974, and in essence, as Dr. Brian Payne said during his kick-off presentation – this year marks the 40th anniversary of PCV. Today, the virus has mutated into PCV2 a and b.

The seminar is covering all aspects of this virus from a diverse group of experts ranging from veterinarians from BIVI and Cargill Pork, researchers and international consultants. The in-depth presentations discussed diagnostics, control, protection and efficiency measures to prevalence and immunity, infield research, sow stability and vaccination. The event concluded with a roundtable discussion. Over the next few days, AgWired will be bringing you coverage from the event.

Now back to the BIVI kick offDallas Cowboys. The group was treated to dinner and entertainment at the At&T Cowboys Stadium where people will be meeting former Dallas Cowboy football players and current Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. This readers, was a educational and fun day in Dallas.

Check out the BIVI Big D Swine Health Seminar photo album.

Pork Production Summit at IPPE

ippe-14-novus-escobarThe VIV International Pork Production Summit was held as part of the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) last week in Atlanta and one of the presenters was Dr. Jeffrey Escobar of Novus International.

Dr. Escobar discussed in detail “Nutrient digestibility and gut health” as well as “Organic trace mineral bioavailability and functional effects in animals” – topics he addressed last summer at the World Pork Expo. He explained how applying nutrient digestibility concepts and the use of certain enzymes, such as Novus’ Cibenza DP100, can help hog producers reduce waste and lower feed costs. “So what Cibenza DP100 will do is help the enzymes already present in the pig and increase the digestibility of the proteins present in the feed with a net gain of more amino acids believed delivered to the animal,” he said.

Listen to a summary of Dr. Escobar’s points in this interview from World Pork: Interview with Novus' Dr. Jeffrey Escobar


International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Sponsored by Novus International Inc

Poultry Part of Novus Past, Present and Future

The vision of Novus International is to help feed the world affordable, wholesome food and achieve a higher quality of life, a global viewpoint that provides the company with a firm foundation in the past and optimism for the future, according to chief information officer and vice president of operations Scott Hine.

ippe-14-novus-hine“It’s something that’s stood the test of time and I think it has a lot of future potential as well,” Scott told me last week at the International Production and Processing Expo. “The products that we produce are really exemplary of continuing to do just that.”

Novus was formed in 1991 when Monsanto sold its feed ingredients division and With two products for the poultry industry to Mitsui and Nippon. Since then, Novus has brought numerous products to the market, including more than 100 over the past decade, but the company remains just as dedicated to the poultry industry as ever. “MHA and ALIMET is the better source of methionine, MINTREX is the most bio-available mineral out there, and our CIBENZA line of products we are continuing to extend,” said Scott. “Poultry is our number one business and continues to be.”

Scott says Novus markets products now in over 100 countries around the world with over 3,000 customers. “We’ve got fantastic global customers as well as fantastic regional customers,” he said, many of whom were at the expo last week. Interview with Scott Hine, Novus International


International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Sponsored by Novus International Inc

Benefits of Novus MINTREX

mintrexLast fall, Novus International received an important designation for chelated trace mineral products MINTREX® Zn, MINTREX® Cu and MINTREX® Mn from the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), which determined they have met compliance requirements for use in organic production.

ippe-14-novus-galoAt last week’s International Production and Processing Expo, I spoke with Novus director for North America business Ed Galo about MINTREX and its benefits for poultry producers. “MINTREX is a core technology of Novus and one that we have established a critical differentiation from other product offerings,” he said. “It’s a source of trace minerals which are very important for poultry production such as tissue strength, hatchability and bone strength.”

In 2011, MINTREX also achieved a special designation from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) defining a new feed ingredient category for chelated trace minerals.

Listen to Ed explain more about the benefits of MINTREX here: Interview with Ed Galo, Novus International


International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Sponsored by Novus International Inc

Novus Sponsors Poultry Science Student Lunch

ippe-14-novus-bereshKeeping with the Novus International dedication to supporting scientific careers, the company this year sponsored the Poultry Scientific Forum student luncheon this year as part of the activities at the International Production and Processing Expo in Atlanta.

Bob Buresh, North American Technical Services Manager, says the founding societies sponsoring the student events at the forum set up the luncheon a few years ago and this year Novus came in as a sponsor. “We had 60-65 undergraduate and graduate students participating this year,” Bob said. “We have a strong commitment to developing the next generation of nutritionists, physiologists, geneticists, and sales people.”

Novus also provided a couple of door prizes for a couple of lucky students – nice little Vivitar digital video recorders – in addition to Novus flash drives for everyone, something that is always useful to a college student.

Listen to my interview with Bob here: Interview with Bob Buresh, Novus International


International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Sponsored by Novus International Inc

Novus Endowed Poultry Professorship

ippe-14-novus-profIn 2003, Novus International inaugurated a new Endowed Professorship in Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas and the first recipient was poultry nutrition professor Park Waldroup.

Last week at the International Production and Processing Expo, Novus honored professor Waldroup for his work and endowed a new professor with the honor – Dr. Casey Owens, who specializes in Poultry Processing and Products. Both are pictured here with Novus chief innovation officer Chris Knight and president Thad Simons. (left to right: Knight, Owens, Simons, Waldroup)

Park says the professorship allowed him to supplement his research program and support graduate students in poultry science. “Over the course of the years I was able to put three graduate students through for their PhD and they all have entered the poultry industry,” he said. “I’m a poultry nutritionist and have worked over the years on just about every aspect of poultry nutrition, focusing on amino acid requirements, energy requirements, you name it.” Interview with University of Arkansas Professor Park Waldroup

This is just one of many ways that Novus supports education and research in the field of animal health. Novus focuses on Solutions, Service and Sustainability for the industry, and Thad notes that people are an important part of sustainability. “The Novus vision is helping to feed the world wholesome and affordable food and improve the quality of life,” said Thad, noting that Novus expands that vision by encouraging young people to pursue scientific and agricultural careers in a variety of ways, from endowments to student support to internships, both in the United States and developing countries. Interview with Novus International CEO Thad Simons


International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Sponsored by Novus International Inc

Novus International Connects at IPPE

novus-ippeDespite inclement weather conditions, the 2014 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) this week had more than 24,000 poultry, meat and feed industry attendees from all over the world and 1,148 exhibitors, including our show coverage sponsor Novus International.

The theme for Novus at the expo was “Understanding the Connections” according to Samson Li, vice president for global business. “We understand the challenges of the processing industry and we bring solutions to our customers,” Samson said.

novus-samsonThose solutions include ALIMET, which optimizes amino acid utilization for better performance during high growth and stress periods; MINTREX, which maximizes shell quality and strength, promotes fertility and hatchability and improves chick quality; and CIBENZA, which increases performance through digestion and absorbtion of nutrients.

“It’s always been the mission of Novus to help the world have affordable and wholesome food and have quality of life,” said Samson. “By bringing our solutions and technology to the industry, we help improve the quality of meat and lower the cost.”

Samson explains more about how Novus helps connect the producer, processor and consumer in this interview: Interview with Samson Li, Novus International


International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Sponsored by Novus International Inc

Novus Celebrates ALIMET Anniversary at IPPE

novus-alimetIt was 30 years ago this week that the first load of ALIMET® shipped out of the Chocolate Bayou Manufacturing Facility near Alvin, Texas and Novus International was celebrating that at the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta.

As an 88% active source of methionine, ALIMET® feed supplement has become the liquid methionine source most frequently used by nutritionists around the world, delivering proven performance and an organic acid effect, reduces nitrogen excretion and supports performance during heat stress.

novus-jeff“Methionine has been a flagship product of Novus since the very beginning,” said Novus Methionine Business Unit President Jeff Klopfenstein. “Liquid ALIMET is the product that works better and provides more value for our customers.”

“For poultry producers, it’s important to get every last edge available,” Jeff said. “To have the methionine benefit of ALIMET, the gut health benefit, the organic acid benefit in terms of feed acidification – all of these applications are part of the ALIMET package.”

Listen to Jeff talk about his favorite subject here: Jeff Klopfenstein, Novus

International Production and Processing Expo Photos

Sponsored by Novus International Inc

What’s Next for ARC?

BI-PRRS-13-116-editedBoehringer Ingelheim’s, Dr. Dale Polson, wrapped up their PRRS Seminar with answering the question of, “What’s Next for ARC?”

Dr. Polson works to development strategies for services and products at Boehringer Ingelheim. His talk at the seminar was themed on the “Playing the PRRS Behavior Game.” He shared that PRRS honors no boundaries and that it’s also about many other diseases that challenges the pork industry. The old methods of simply taking care of our own, needs to be thrown out the window. We need to adopt the ‘better together’ model that he suggests.

This method has lead Dr. Polson to suggest renaming the ARC program to Area Coordinated Disease Control. He says collaboration is the key.

“The one word that is in the set of four words is the most important and that’s the word coordinated. It’s the idea that it’s too general, in my opinion, to call it Area Regional Control. We need something that specifically describes one of the key tenants of the approach and that’s the reason for the word coordination.”

Later in my interview with Dr. Polson he talks about the goals of control, elimination and then prevention of PRRS and where the industry needs to head for the future.

Listen to my complete interview with Dale here: Interview with Dr. Dale Polson, Boehringer Ingelheim

Here are photos from the event:2013 BIVI PRSS ARC&E Seminar Photo Album

Utilizing Vaccinations for PRRS Virus

BI-PRRS-13-109-editedBoehringer Ingelheim provided the opportunity for the big questions to be asked about the PRRS virus during their recent PRRS Seminar in Chicago. Swine Vet Center’s, Dr. Tim Loula, shared his insight into effective PRRS protocols and how to better utilize ARC programs.

Dr. Loula said that the current vaccination for PRRS could be better, but right now it’s all producers have. His suggestion to this dilemma is a simple mandatory vaccination program nationwide. He also shared that starting local is key and thats the producers and veterinarians. Then it can extend to institutions and the allied industry.

“I made a point in my presentation that we need to be bigger, bolder and have some kind of enforcement mechanism. Maybe the producers themselves vote that they are going to do this on a national level if we are going to see any kind of minimization of the effects of PRRS.”

Listen to my complete interview with Tim here: Interview with Dr. Tim Loula, Swine Vet Center

Here are photos from the event:2013 BIVI PRSS ARC&E Seminar Photo Album

PRRS Research At It’s Finest

BI-PRRS-13-47-editedThe PRRS virus is nothing new to swine producers across the country and has been around for years. But that doesn’t mean research has ceased. During Boehringer Ingelheim’s PRRS Seminar in Chicago, Dr. Scott Dee, director of research at Pipestone Vet Clinic, shared with his peers the research he has conducted regarding the PRRS virus found in the air surrounding farms.

“We are a strong believer of air-filtration to prevent airborne virus introduction to farms. It’s an expensive proposition. One of our goals was can we prove that there is indeed virus in the air outside our farms. And if we can, how often is it there, what quantity is present and how many different varieties of viruses are circulating around our farms.”

Pipestone conducted a study last fall and found that the frequency of the air-born virus was very high. The quantity of viable virus in the air was also high, as well as the diversity of virus types around the farm was high. With this finding, Dr. Dee talked about two options that farmers can take to help combat PRRS in their barns. The first is air-filtration, which he further discusses in my interview with him, and vaccination at weaned-to-finish operations.

Listen to my interview with Scott here: Interview with Dr. Scott Dee, Pipestone Vet Clinic

Here are photos from the event:2013 BIVI PRSS ARC&E Seminar Photo Album

Application of PRRS Control Protocols

BI-PRRS-13-64-editedThe recent Boehringer Ingelheim PRRS Seminar in Chicago, IL, brought swine animal health experts from around the world together to discuss research studies and compare and contrast notes on the PRRS virus.

I spoke with Dr. Clayton Johnson after his presentation on the application of PRRS control protocols. Dr. Johnson is the Director of Health at The Maschhoffs.

“We were fortunate to get exposed to a lot of the good work that was coming out of the University of Minnesota last year in the time to negative pig study. That work allowed us to make make some estimates about what prior immunity was worth on our sow farms. Sow farms that had been exposed to PRRS and particularly sow farms in high pig density areas where they typically get exposed to PRRS on a regular basis. What is that prior immunity worth knowing they are likely to be exposed despite our best bio security methods. What we found through Daniels (Dr. Daniel Linhares, PIC/Agroceres) work was that the prior immunity could be quantified in the terms of weaned pig output out of that sow farm in the face of the next PRRS break. That weaned pig output was distractingly higher on farms with prior immunity compared to farms that were naive to prior immunity.”

Dr. Johnson also hit on the load, close and expose strategy they take in PRRS management, compared current performance vs. historical performance and their research into bringing the immunity to gilt development farms.

Listen to my interview with Clayton here: Interview with Dr. Clayton Johnson, The Maschhoffs

Here are photos from the event:2013 BIVI PRSS ARC&E Seminar Photo Album

Update on PRRS Diagnostic Testing

BI-PRRS-13-37-editedAs part of the 2013 North American PRRS Symposium, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health hosted the BIVI PRRS ARC&E Seminar. It was a morning full of experts discussing PRRS Area Regional Control, as well as what is being done in the field.

The morning started off with Dr. Rodger Main, Director of the Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory at Iowa State University. He provided the audience with an update on current PRRS diagnostic testing.

“The field of PRRS diagnostics has continued to evolve and continue to mature. The point I wanted to get across is the continuous improvement in the assays themselves, the processes that happen at the laboratory and the cooperative nature of our clients that has really improved the overall state of PRRS diagnostics in North America.”

Dr. Main also discussed the use of oral fluids as diagnostic specimens, the use of premise ID and affiliate codes and other improvements the lab has taken to tackle the PRRS virus.

“In the field of PRRS diagnostics there has been substantial improvements over the past five years. All the primary assays that we are using today in the laboratory are all new and different, as well as a number of the key methods and processes that are occurring in the laboratory itself. PRRS has been around for a long time and I think that we would like folks to know that it continues to evolve and improve and it all begins with the client. One of the big things going forward will be around how we enhance our information management systems on both the front and back ends of the diagnostic process.”

Listen to my interview with Rodger here: Interview with Dr. Rodger Main, Iowa State University

Here are photos from the event:2013 BIVI PRSS ARC&E Seminar Photo Album

Merck’s Attack on BRD

nafb-13-26-editedMerck Animal Health is dedicated to spreading the awareness of one of the most common diseases found in the cattle industry. Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD) continues to take an economic toll on herds across the country. During NAFB’s Trade Talk I spoke with Dr. Brent Meyer, technical services veterinarian for Merck. He shares what the company is doing to tackle BRD and educate producers.

“We brought a new antibiotic to the market called Zuprevo. It is a macrolide antibiotic labeled for treatment and/or prevention of the disease. So it has a dual label. What’s unique about this product is that it is very fast acting. After one sub-q dose of 1cc per 100lbs. in four hours its in the lung tissue killing the bacteria that might be in there. It also stays in the lung tissue for 28 days.”

It has been on the market for a good year and Merck is excited with the testimonials they are starting to receive. The producers Dr. Meyer has talked with have used the product on high-risk calves and have reduced their death loss from 8% down to less than 1%.

To help educate producers, Merck has launched a blog called BRD Report: From The Fence Post. It’s sole purpose is to raise awareness of BRD for veterinarians, livestock producers, agricultural media and industry influencers to access important information vital to the prevention and treatment of this deadly disease.

Blog content includes valuable insights and best practices from industry experts about easing stress, nutrition, maintaining facilities and recognizing signs of disease, as well as comparative studies, relevant peer-reviewed articles and industry news. Contributing bloggers include university researchers, nutritionists and livestock producers, as well as Merck Animal Health veterinarians.

Listen to my complete interview with Brent here: Interview with Dr. Brent Meyer

Checkout photos from NAFB Convention: 2013 NAFB Convention Photo Album

Prince Agri Sponsors Dairy Nutrition Symposium

Dr. Robert CorbettThe opening speaker at the Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop pre-conference symposium, sponsored by Prince Agri Products, was Dr. Robert Corbett, Dairy Health Consultation. His focus was on how nutritional and management practices can have a major impact on a dairy cow’s immune system during the transition period. I spoke with him after his presentation.

He says that minimizing stress in close-up and fresh cows is important in supporting their health, milk production and reproductive efficiency. He also noted that dairy cows experience a suppressed immune system at parturition, caused by the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, which makes them more susceptible to mastitis and a host of other health disorders. Elevated blood cortisol, he explained, causes white blood cells, known as neutrophils, to lose their ability to fight infections.

Listen to my interview with Dr. Corbett here: Interview with Dr. Robert Corbett

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Do You Know Prince Agri Products

Dave CalabottaPrince Agri Products sponsored the Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop pre-conference symposium and I was invited in to cover it. To learn more about the company I spoke with Dave Calabotta (right), VP of Marketing and Business Development.

Dave says that Prince Agri Products has been around for about 150 years and is part of Phibro Animal Health. Prince focuses on the marketing of minerals and value added products with the goal of helping maximize the bottom line of dairy producers as well as other primary animal species. The focus here at this conference is on their OmniGen-AF and Animate products.

When dairy producers think of Prince Agri Products Dave wants them to think, “Innovation. We want to be one of the most respected companies as it relates to bringing new technologies in nutrition but more importantly on the cutting edge of where the industry is moving.”

Listen to my interview with Dave to learn more about Prince Agri Products: Interview with Dave Calabotta

Prince Agri Products Dairy Pre-Conference Symposium Photo Album

Prince Agri Products Symposium

OmniGen-AFNext up on the AgriBlogging Highway for me is the pre-conference symposium at the Penn State Dairy Cattle Nutrition Workshop. The symposium is sponsored by Prince Agri Products and will focus on Mastitis Management and Transition Cow Health. Reducing the incidence of mastitis and enhancing transition cow health can have a significant impact on dairy cattle health, milk production and profitability.

Prince Agri ProductsI’ll be conducting interviews with the presenters during the morning on Tuesday, November 12. Here are the presentations being featured:

• “Management Practices for Enhanced Transition Cow Health and Production,” Robert Corbett, D.V.M., Dairy Health Consultation, Spring City, Utah.
• “Managing Mastitis in Dairy Heifers to Improve Overall Herd Health,” Steve Nickerson, Ph.D., professor of lactation physiology, Animal and Dairy Science Department, University of Georgia.
• “Revisiting Prepartum DCAD: Reducing Hypocalcemia of Transition Cows,” Dave Beede, Ph.D., professor of dairy nutrition and management, Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University.
• “Keys to a Good P&L: Strategies to Make Money,” Greg Bethard, Ph.D., G&R Dairy Consulting, Calmar, Iowa.

Prince Agri Products has created a new microsite for their OmniGen-AF product you will want to check out.