Merck and Bayer announce first-quarter growth in animal health; Aratana inks R&D agreement with Traverse Bio; FDA seeks comment on plan to assess drug residues in milk

> Merck ($MRK) saw sales in its animal health division increase 2% year over year in the first quarter to $829 million, which it attributed partially to strong performance of its flea-and-tick fighter Bravecto. Release

> Aratana Therapeutics (PETX) has signed a $250,000 cooperative research and development agreement with Traverse Biosciences to advance the development of a drug to treat periodontal disease in pets. Release

> Sales in Bayer's animal health division rose 6% year-over-year in the first quarter to €386 million ($430 million), driven by increased demand for its Seresto flea-and-tick collar in the U.S. and Europe. Release

> The FDA is seeking public comment on a risk assessment focused on drug residues in milk and dairy products. Release

> Zoetis ($ZTS) elected three new board members during its annual meeting of shareholders on May 1. Release

> The North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine received a $16 million gift from the R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation, which the school will use to support students and faculty, as well as to provide research endowments. More

> Kansas-based Elias Animal Health has raised $2 million in funding. Filing

> CareCredit signed an exclusive agreement with Vets First Choice, which will allow pet owners to use their CareCredit healthcare cards to pay for online purchases of pet medicines and food at 10,000 participating veterinary practices. Release

> Parnell Pharmaceuticals Holdings announced that during the first quarter, sales in its production animal segment rose 189% in the U.S. and companion animal product sales were up 11%. Release