Building a Better Veterinary Diagnostics Business - Thermo Fisher and Zoetis

Building a Better Veterinary Diagnostics Business - Thermo Fisher and Zoetis

Served by myriad companies differentiated by product strengths, the veterinary diagnostics market has had few dedicated or comprehensive market players outside of IDEXX Laboratories. The market leader serves the companion animal veterinary clinic market - offering veterinary platforms for clinical chemistry, hematology, coagulation, urinalysis, critical care, and routine infectious disease testing - and food animal testing market. Otherwise, most veterinary diagnostics market players are limited in scope or have translated their existing strengths into an ancillary veterinary market business, typically immunoassay development, PCR assay development, core lab instrumentation, life science reagents or consumer health products. It is notable then when companies more systematically target veterinary diagnostics as part of business development.

In March 2014, Thermo Fisher Scientific acquired Prionics AG, a Swiss specialist in food animal infectious disease and prion disease tests. The acquisition is estimated to have almost doubled Thermo Fisher Scientific’s share in the food animal disease test kit market. Prionics was organized under Thermo Fisher subsidiary Life Technologies - also a top-ten player in veterinary diagnostics by market share according to Kalorama Information. Life Technologies (including LSI) and Prionics join long-term Thermo Fisher subsidiary Finnzymes as part of a significant veterinary diagnostics business umbrella. While its multibillion dollar revenue operations touch countless markets, Thermo Fisher’s presence in veterinary diagnostics has not been built by chance.

Thermo Fisher will compete well for tenders related to disease surveillance and eradication programs. Prionics was the market leader in the now fading transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) test market, including BSE, and represents a valuable addition as prior to its acquisition it had significantly expanded its test portfolio to target more viable market opportunities in food animal diseases.

Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health) is a notable player in the veterinary diagnostics business through its subsidiary Synbiotics Corporation. Outside of Synbiotics, Zoetis is a multibillion-dollar giant in animal health business with nearly all of its revenue in veterinary medicines and vaccines. Zoetis and Pfizer before it did little until recently to surround Synbiotics with assets or sister companies capable of more thoroughly addressing a secondary animal health market (vaccines and medicines are many times larger than veterinary diagnostics in market revenue). Synbiotics represents a unique asset for Zoetis for the supply of immunodiagnostics able to assay herd exposure to the targets of vaccination and determine the efficacy of vaccination.

Zoetis only recently made another move into the veterinary diagnostics space through its acquisition of Abbott Animal Health and assay development efforts relating to new swine industry threats. The assets of Abbott Animal Health were acquired from Abbott Laboratories for an announced price of $255 million. The acquisition included Abbott’s line of veterinary blood glucose and ketone meters and strips for diabetic companion animals. Zoetis also assisted the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine’s development of an ELISA test for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), which became available to the U.S. swine industry in early 2014. Both the acquisition and assay development target high-growth areas of the veterinary diagnostics market.

More information on the global veterinary diagnostics market, including companion animal and food animal segments, is available in Kalorama Information’s The World Market for Veterinary Diagnostics.