Merck animal health sales impacted by foreign currency weakness; Sanofi sales soars on chewable flea fighter; VetStem and Aratana complete field trial of stem cell product for dogs;

> Merck ($MRK) announced that during the second quarter, sales in its animal health division came in at $840 million, which marked a 4% year over year decline when accounting for the negative impact from foreign exchange rates but a 10% increase without it. Release

> Second-quarter revenues from Sanofi's ($SNY) animal health division grew 14% year-over-year to €691 million ($762 million), driven largely by sales of NexGard, its chewable flea-and-tick fighter. Release

> VetStem Biopharma announced that it has successfully completed a field study of its stem cell product AT-016, which it is co-developing with Aratana ($PETX) for canine osteoarthritis. Release

> Zoetis ($ZTS) agreed to acquire KL Products, which makes automation systems for poultry hatcheries, for an undisclosed sum. Release

> Bayer announced that in the second quarter, sales from its animal health division increased 19.6% year-over-year to €428 million, thanks to strong sales of its Seresto and Advantage lines of flea-and-tick products. Release

> Fast-food giant Wendy's ($WEN) announced that it plans to test antibiotics-free chicken at four of its restaurants. Article

> Virbac's revenues grew 19% year-over-year to €221.1 million ($243.9 million), which came mostly through its acquisition of the Sentinel brand. Release

> During the first half of 2015, Vetoquinol's sales rose 12% year over year to €167.2 million ($184.4 million), with reference products accounting for almost half of sales. Release

> Orion Group announced that in the second quarter, its revenues dropped 8% year-over-year to €255 million ($281 million) and its profit before taxes fell 14% to €72.9 million ($80.5 million). Release

> Vets Plus of Menomonie, WI, has hired Lou Shaban, formerly of Bayer Animal Health, as director of business development and R&D. Release

> H.J. Baker has hired Jeff DeJong, formerly of ADM, as regional sales manager for the Midwest. Release

> Phibro Animal Health ($PAHC) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.10 per share payable September 23. Release

> JNA Advertising of Overland Park, KS, has created a new division, Unfenced, which will be run by Karen Padgett, formerly of Ceva Animal Health. Release