The editors at FiercePharma in the last 18 months have found ourselves writing a fair number of stories about animal health operations. Many of the companies we cover have animal health units and their success, or lack thereof, is a big deal for these companies and their investors.
There was the spinoff of Pfizer's ($PFE) animal health unit into Zoetis ($ZTS), the largest animal health company in the global market. More recent M&A action has included Novartis' ($NVS) $5.4 billion deal to sell its animal health unit to Eli Lilly ($LLY), and Merck ($MRK) shopping its own operation. We also have covered Merck's issues over cattle deaths linked to its animal growth product Zilmax. And then there have been the ties between animal antibiotics and antibiotic resistance in humans, a problem that has contributed to a development race for new human antibiotics.
The point is that there is so much going on in the animal health industry that we've decided to publish a weekly newsletter devoted to it entirely. Associate Editor Justin Heifetz and I will be writing this newsletter, which will launch on Monday. It will mean not only keeping our fingers on the pulse of Big Pharma players with animal health units, but also covering the larger industry: a huge market that ranges from food production to companion animals.
The industry has been estimated at about $100 billion, with the animal medicines and vaccines sector making up about $22 billion of that. In the last decade, the animal health industry has posted about 7% annual growth, expanding faster than human pharma, according to Strategy&, formerly Booz & Company, which expects that to keep expanding at 5% a year through 2017.
With FierceAnimalHealth, we will work to cover the full spectrum of the animal health industry, following the unique FierceMarkets approach of both breaking news and providing the context to put that news into perspective. If you are currently involved with any part of that industry, or if you are just interested or curious, we invite you to sign up for the new pub, and to make sure you let us know what your companies are doing. Look for it on Monday. -- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)