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Pfizer Acquires Synbiotics, Enters Diagnostics Sector

by 5m Editor
30 December 2010, at 12:15pm

US - Pfizer Animal Health has announced it is to acquire Synbiotics Corporation and thus enter the diagnostics sector, reaffirming its commitment to providing veterinarians with comprehensive animal health solutions.

Pfizer Animal Health has announced an agreement to acquire Synbiotics Corporation, a privately held, Kansas City-based leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of immunodiagnostic tests for companion and food production animals.

Veterinary immunodiagnostics, a methodology using antigen-antibody reaction to detect viruses or bacteria in animals, is a sector growing an estimated eight per cent annually, twice the rate of the animal health industry as a whole. The global immunodiagnostics market is valued at US$735 million, according to industry sources. Factors accelerating growth include increasing interest among companion animal owners in monitoring the health and maintaining wellness of their dogs, cats and horses. Likewise, livestock producers, striving to meet increasing worldwide demand for animal-derived food protein, are placing greater emphasis on immunodiagnostics to safeguard the health of livestock animals.

Juan Ramon Alaix, president of Pfizer Animal Health, commented: "Our acquisition of Synbiotics, with its best-in-class product portfolio, promising research and development pipeline, and manufacturing capability, will bring Pfizer Animal Health closer to its goal of becoming a comprehensive solutions provider to the animal health industry. By integrating animal health diagnostics with our innovative portfolio of vaccines and medicines, we can do more to help veterinarians deliver optimal care for livestock and companion animals and provide the right medicine to the right animal at the right time."

According to Mr Alaix, the acquisition will not only allow Pfizer Animal Health to enhance its offerings to veterinarians at point of care in the clinic and on the farm, but also to expand into products for diagnostic reference laboratories and reproductive services for canine breeders.

"We look forward to continuing to serve existing Synbiotics customers as well as serving new customers with Synbiotics' portfolio of proven and effective diagnostics solutions," he added.

Paul Hays, Chief Executive Officer of Synbiotics Corporation, said: Pfizer Animal Health is the ideal partner for Synbiotics. Pfizer Animal Health's global reach, commercial operations, and expertise in regulatory and marketing functions will expand customer access to such leading products as Witness® and Assure® for companion animals, the Serelisa® franchise for livestock animals, and Proflok for poultry into new markets – especially in emerging markets. Marrying Synbiotics' R&D expertise in diagnostics with the strength of Pfizer veterinary R&D also is expected to help accelerate our diagnostic development program."

According to Mr Hays, Synbiotics estimates that its common shareholders will be entitled to receive up to approximately $0.306 per share in cash in connection with the acquisition, of which approximately $0.019 per share will be held in escrow as a fund against which Pfizer may make claims for losses arising from any breaches of Synbiotics' representations, warranties, covenants and agreements and similar customary matters. The acquisition is expected to close later this week.

With its agreement to acquire Synbiotics, Pfizer Animal Health is affirming its commitment to help companion animals and horses live healthier longer lives and to help assure a safe food supply from healthy cattle, poultry, pigs and fish worldwide using sustainable production practices. Pfizer Animal Health's entry into veterinary diagnostics follows a series of moves in 2010 that position the business as the partner of choice to the animal health industry. These include:

  • Completing a licensing and development agreement with Epitopix to expand access to the first conditionally US Department of Agriculture approved vaccines for E. coli and for Salmonella Newport in beef and dairy cattle.
  • Expansion into the rapidly growing aquaculture segment with the acquisition of Microtek International.
  • Entry into animal health generic medicines with the acquisition of Vetnex in India.